Since its inception in 2004, the mentoring project has had a powerful impact on Flinders University undergraduate students’ interest in research. This program has encouraged students to consider further academic studies and as a result, a significant number have gone on to enroll in Honours and PhD programs. Many of the graduates have built on their topic work and presented at conferences and co-authored publications with their mentors.
In 2004, the mentoring project began as an innovative teaching and learning in the final semester of the Bachelor of Nursing program. Since then the project has been developed by Dr Lindy King with the assistance of academics from the School.
In its tenth year, the mentoring project topic exists as either a separate final-semester topic or pathway within a topic for Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery students who hold an overall distinction average grade or higher in their studies and have an interest in research.
In the mentoring project program each student is allocated an academic and a clinical mentor interested in research, scholarship and practice improvement, for the semester. The student attends eight weeks of tutorials and workshops and meets with their academic mentors on a regular basis to review research and develop their literature review project. Assessment in the mentoring project requires students to undertake a 5000-word literature review for potential publication in a peer-reviewed journal and a professional poster based on their research project for display in practice settings and/or for conference presentations.
Dr King and team have received the following national and international awards as recognition of this successful project:
- 2007 The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: citation for Outstanding Sustained Contribution to Student Learning
- 2007 Flinders University: Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching
- 2004 Flinders University: Vice-Chancellor's Teaching & Learning Innovation grant.
Publications about the mentoring project
King L, Neill J, Taylor K & Pickles D (under review) Developing undergraduate nursing students’ passion for research and scholarship through the Mentoring Project program: a six cohort study.
King L, 2012, Mentoring students through the process of transforming best evidence into best practice: 8 years’ experience of the mentoring project program. NETNEP International Nurse Education Conference, Baltimore, USA June.
King, L, Neill, J & Taylor, K 2007, ‘Improving research competence and confidence in undergraduate students through a mentoring project', published in the peer-reviewed research section, HERDSA International Conference proceedings, Adelaide, South Australia, July.
Jones, J, Neill, J, King, L, Taylor, K & Howles, A 2004, 'Mentoring project—unlocking future potential: mentoring nursing students through the process of transforming best evidence into best clinical practice', presentation for Nurse Education Tomorrow, 15th Annual International Participative Conference in Education in Health Care, Durham, United Kingdom, September.
Jones, J, Neill, J, King, L, Taylor, K & Howles, A 2004, 'A pilot model for mentoring undergraduate nursing students through the process of locating best evidence and improving clinical practice', Nursing Leadership, Policy and Politics, RCNA Conference, Alice Springs, NT, July.
Dr Lindy King
Phone: +61 8 8201 3344 / (08) 8201 3344