University of Oulu

Kristina Mikkonen, Marco Tomietto, Giancarlo Cicolini, Boris Miha Kaucic, Bojana Filej, Olga Riklikiene, Erika Juskauskiene, Flores Vizcaya-Moreno, Rosa M. Pérez-Cañaveras, Paul De Raeve, Maria Kääriäinen, Development and testing of an evidence-based model of mentoring nursing students in clinical practice, Nurse Education Today, Volume 85, 2020, 104272, ISSN 0260-6917,

Development and testing of an evidence-based model of mentoring nursing students in clinical practice

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Author: Mikkonen, Kristina1; Tomietto, Marco1,2; Cicolini, Giancarlo3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Hospital Administration Department, Azienda per l’Assistenza Sanitaria n.5 “Friuli Occidentale”, Pordenone, Italy
3Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro"
4College of Nursing in Celje, Slovenia
5Faculty of Nursing, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
6Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Alicante, Spain
7EFN, European Federation of Nurses Associations, Belgium
8Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-21


Background: Mentoring in clinical settings is an important factor in the development of nursing students’ professional knowledge and competences, but more knowledge of mentors’ current and required competences is needed to improve nursing students’ clinical learning.

Objectives: This study aimed to develop and test an evidence-based model of mentoring nursing students in clinical practice.

Design: An international cross-sectional survey coordinated in five European countries: Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia and Spain.

Methods: Mentors, 4980 registered nurses working in both primary and specialist healthcare organizations, were invited to participate in the study during 2016—2019. The final sample consisted of 1360 mentors (mean age 41.9 ± 11). Data were collected with background questions and the Mentor Competence Instrument. The instrument was psychometrically validated then the data were used to construct a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with Full Imputation Maximum Likelihood (FIML) estimation.

Results: All of six hypotheses were verified. In summary: mentors’ characteristics related to their motivation and reflection are positively related to mentoring practices in the workplace, which (together with constructive feedback) are positively related to and foster goal-orientation in students’ clinical learning and student-centered evaluation. All parameters in the SEM model were significant and the model’s fit indexes were verified (RMSEA = 0.055; SRMR = 0.083; CFI = 0.914, TLI = 0.909).

Conclusion: Our evidence-based modeling confirms the research hypotheses about mentorship, and identifies focal competences for designing mentors’ education to improve students’ clinical learning and establish a common European mentoring model. Mentorship is important for both healthcare organizations and educational systems to enhance students’ clinical competences, professional growth and commitment to the nursing profession and organizational environments.

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Series: Nurse education today
ISSN: 0260-6917
ISSN-E: 1532-2793
ISSN-L: 0260-6917
Volume: 85
Article number: UNSP 104272
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104272
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: We would like to acknowledge European Commission, Erasmus+, KA2: Strategic partnership for providing funding for the project Quality mentorship for developing competent nursing students (QualMent).
Copyright information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license