Learnings from a mentoring project to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to remain in the workforce

Jessica Biles, Linda Deravin, Claire Ellen Seaman, Nathaniel Alexander, Nikki Trudgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: This article provides the findings of a research project which explored the experiences of participants in a mentoring programme designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives in a rural health district. Aims: It seeks to understand how a mentoring programme achieved its aims and anticipated outcomes that would ultimately inform future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce support programmes. Design: The research project used a hermeneutic phenomenological philosophical framework to conduct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s methods of yarning, which engaged in conversation around key topics with participants, followed by the research team’s analysis of yarns. Methods: A qualitative study utilising purposive sampling to select participants. Participants were drawn from those who had undertaken the cultural mentoring programme and could have been either mentors or mentees. Interviews were conducted once the 12-month mentoring programme had ceased. Results: The five main themes that were drawn from the data were cultural safety, motivations, relationships, learning and support. Conclusion: Participant experiences indicate that mentoring can be an avenue for providing appropriate clinical and cultural support and a safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives. They also show that identified support roles and Aboriginal-led projects can have larger impacts; fostering organisational connections and broader feelings of cultural respect amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff beyond programme participation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Nurse
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2021

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