An evaluation of a pilot peer mentor project for first year undergraduate nursing students: A Participatory Action Research study

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Abstract

Background: Peer mentoring is effective in aiding the transition of new students to tertiary study and brings benefits to mentors. Students with high levels of self- efficacy are viewed as more likely to succeed at university. There are limited studies that explore the relationship between a peer mentor program, self-efficacy, and student retention in undergraduate nursing students. A peer mentor program may create conditions that improve student self-efficacy and student retention; however, this has not been established conclusively.

Research aim: The aim of this six phase Participatory Action Research (PAR) project was to examine whether a pilot peer mentor project (PPMP) within an undergraduate nursing degree improves student self-efficacy and retention.
Method: The planning, implementation, and evaluation of the PPMP occurred within cycles of action and review. The stages of review included feedback, reflection, and refinements to the project plan prior to moving onto the next stage Reflexivity was required as the PPMP evolved in response to feedback from participants.
Results: The self-efficacy of mentees increased during session one of the PPMP. Feedback from mentors suggested that five mentees were retained in the Bachelor of Nursing degree due to the support they received from their mentor. Themes from qualitative data highlight the positive experiences of mentees in the PPMP, explore the barriers to effective mentor/mentee relationships, and refocussing a future peer mentor program to capitalise on the insight that mentors have into the Bachelor of Nursing degree.
Recommendations: The PPMP provides a comprehensive guide of how to undertake a peer mentor program in an undergraduate tertiary context. The recommendations for a future peer mentor program encompass extending the role of mentors into clinical tutoring and the positioning of Facebook as the primary mechanism for communication between mentors and mentees.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Bramble, Marguerite, Principal Supervisor
  • Stanley, David, Co-Supervisor
Award date22 Dec 2021
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jan 2022

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