Connecting in distance mentoring: Communication practices that work

Kathie Lasater, Patricia K. Young, Claudia G. Mitchell, Theresa M. Delahoyde, Jan M. Nick, Linda Siktberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Background: As nursing and healthcare become more global, supported by technology, the opportunities for distance mentoring increase. Mentorship is critical to nurse educator recruitment and retention. Study Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify communication practices of nurse educators involved in mentoring at a distance. Design/Settings: A qualitative design, utilizing in-person or telephone interviews was used. Participants were twenty-three protégés or mentors who were part of a yearlong distance mentoring program. Analysis Method: An iterative process of hermeneutic analysis identified three themes; this paper focuses on the theme of connectedness. Results: Participant narratives illuminate practices of connecting at a distance: meeting face-to-face, sharing personal information, experiencing reciprocity, journaling, being vulnerable, establishing one's presence, and appreciating different perspectives. Conclusion: Distance does not appear to limit the connecting potential leading to a meaningful mentoring relationship; rather, it offers possibilities that local mentoring relationships may not. Nurse educators in under-resourced countries, those in small programs without a cadre of senior faculty, and students in distance programs are among those who stand to benefit from distance mentoring relationships.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)501-506
    Number of pages6
    JournalNurse education today
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Apr 2014


    • Distance learning
    • Distance mentoring
    • Faculty, nursing
    • Mentoring
    • Nursing education
    • Qualitative

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)
    • Education


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