Doctor of Philosophy
In health care professions, such as nursing and midwifery, mentorship is widely used to ensure that professionals continue to update their knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care that is informed by research. Mentoring is a process through which experienced professionals share their knowledge and expertise with less experienced professionals. Based on interpretive phenomenology, this study explored the experiences of staff nurses and midwives participating in the training, support, and access model (TSAM) mentorship program in selected district hospitals (DHs) in Rwanda.
The study involved 28 nurses and midwives who participated in semi-structured one-to-one interviews. Based on Crist and Tanner 's (2003) framework, a thematic analysis was used to help identify three themes: 1) developing professional competencies, 2) perceptions of the mentorship process, and 3) participants' viewpoints on support, challenges, and strategies to overcome them. Using van Manen’s (2014) reflective method, participants' reported experiences were explored in relation to four lifeworld existentials: lived body, lived time, lived relations, and lived space. Several existential themes came to light, including learning through a spiral of emotions, going through professional change, communicating, and collaborating with ‘others’ and hospital units conveying a sense of safety.
In addition to providing a deeper understanding of staff nurses' and midwives' experiences of participating in the TSAM mentorship program, this study sheds light on the meaning they attributed to their participation. Therefore, the findings from this study contribute to the limited knowledge regarding continuing professional development (CPD) for staff nurses and midwives in resource-limited settings. Additionally, the results of this study may inspire future research about clinical mentorship programs and influence policy decisions aimed at improving CPD programs for staff nurses and midwives in resource-limited settings.
Summary for Lay Audience
- Health professionals are required to maintain current knowledge and skills to provide competent care to clients. Clinical mentorship provides an opportunity for experienced nurses and midwives to support their less experienced colleagues. Mentorship was implemented in Rwanda to provide nurses and midwives working in selected district hospitals with education/training in the maternal, neonatal, and child health care areas. Using a qualitative interpretive phenomenological approach, this study explored the lived experiences of nurses and midwives who participated in the mentorship model as mentees. Data was collected using a semi-structured interview guide with 28 participants. As a result of this study, several themes emerged, including the development of professional competencies, perceptions of the mentoring process, perspectives on support and challenges, as well as strategies to overcome them. In addition, the results provided insight into how mentor-mentee relationships developed and how they influenced the mentees’ experiences. Also, the findings revealed how the settings in which midwife and nurse mentees practiced had an impact on their experiences of mentorship.
- Further to providing a deeper understanding of staff nurses' and midwives' experiences of participating in the training, support, and access model mentorship (TSAM) program, this study also sheds light on the meaning nurses and midwives attribute to mentorship. Consequently, this study contributes to the limited knowledge regarding continuing professional development (CPD) for nurses and midwives in resource-limited settings. Moreover, the findings of this study may inspire future research regarding clinical mentorship programs and may influence policy decisions regarding CPD programs for staff nurses and midwives in resource-limited settings.
Kasine, Yvonne 2399948, "Nurses’ and Midwives’ Lived Experiences as Mentees in a Clinical Mentorship Program in Rwanda: An Interpretive Phenomenological Study" (2023). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 9499.
Available for download on Saturday, April 26, 2025