UCalgary campus walkway, Faculty of Nursing

About NurseMentor

Connecting UCalgary alumni RNs with student nurses

NurseMentor is an online mentoring program matching practising nurses with nursing students for professional and personal growth

  • The program coordinator matches each mentee with a mentor based on compatibility and interests. They will then connect with each other throughout the year for advice and conversation. Communication can take place online through our secure web-based platform and in person as pairs choose.
  • By chatting with their mentor through a secure site, nursing students can learn about the wealth of careers and opportunities within nursing. They can receive career guidance and life advice from someone who has ‘been there,’ and gain confidence in their new role as a future RN.
  • The mentors — inspiring nurses in diverse careers within the profession — enjoy the experience of being a role model and inspiring the upcoming generation of nurses.

How it works

1: Register

In this step you will be asked a few questions about what interests you and what you hope to gain from mentoring. This will help us determine a best fit for you.

2: We do the matching

The NurseMentor coordinator will match you with a compatible mentor or mentee when one becomes available, and you will be notified.

3: You get connected

Student mentees should initiate the first contact with their mentor. Pairs determine how and when to connect - ideally, two contacts per month. Good communication is the key to a successful mentorship.

How it began

Nursing is a network. In practice, nurses support each other, guide each other and help each other learn and grow. The expertise and guidance that registered nurses are able to provide is invaluable to students, new graduates and colleagues.

Consulting with alumni

In 2014, the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary identified the need to develop and maintain strong links with nurse alumni.

Over the next two years, the faculty reached out to alumni – through dinners, newsletters and events like the
Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture – to explore ways that alumni would like to engage with the university and with current nursing students.

A desire to mentor

Overwhelmingly, alumni stated their interest in mentoring students and in sharing some of the wisdom they had accrued through their personal and professional lives.

In 2016, the faculty began to research online platforms that would help make a nursing mentorship initiative simple and effective. We wanted a platform that would allow students and RNs with different schedules, but a shared interest in mentorship, to connect.

A platform that fit

The university already had developed and established an online mentorship program called Cybermentor through the Schulich School of Engineering.

The program was found to use a site that closely mirrored the identified needs for an online platform for nursing mentorship, and we set out to reconfigure this online platform to meet the needs of nursing students and alumni.

NurseMentor launches, then grows

In 2017, the NurseMentor pilot program was officially launched, with an initial cohort of 15 mentors and mentees.

In its second year, the program grew exponentially to 110 participants, including both early stage and graduating students paired with talented nurses across all disciplines.

NurseMentor pair, Eleanor and Ici

Our NurseMentor Mission

The mission of NurseMentor is to foster the career development of undergraduate nursing students at the University of Calgary and provide an opportunity for alumni to share their accumulated wisdom with student nurses.

Program goals

Mutual learning

Broadening students’ knowledge of career pathways, opportunities and options within nursing in an environment of mutual learning and support.

Ongoing support

The coordinator facilitates ongoing mentoring relationships between nursing alumni and current students.