Exploring mentoring for hospital nurses/midwives in Uganda: A mixed methods study

Author: Tracy Kakyo

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 4 Apr 2025.

Kakyo, Tracy, 2024 Exploring mentoring for hospital nurses/midwives in Uganda: A mixed methods study, Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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Background: Mentoring is a professional development strategy that has been utilised in addressing workplace issues such as recruitment, retention, career progress, and incivility. Mentoring effectiveness and success depend on various factors, including individual characteristics, personal beliefs, and mentoring perceptions. Mentoring should be based on reciprocity, where both the mentor and mentee have equal responsibilities and shared outcomes. The outcomes of mentoring depend on the quality of interactions between the three stakeholders: the mentor, the mentee, and the organisation. Previous literature indicates that mentoring is an underexplored concept in Uganda.

Aim: This study aimed to characterise mentoring for nurses and midwives working in Ugandan hospitals.

Methods: This study used a two-phase sequential explanatory mixed method design underpinned by Dewey's pragmatism. The first phase involved a cross-sectional study that identified mentoring dimensions and associated factors. The second phase was a qualitative descriptive study that explored perceptions, experiences, and expectations of mentoring among nurses and midwives. The quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 27 and Hayes PROCESS macro while reflective thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data.

Results: The findings indicate that mentoring among nurses and midwives in Uganda is primarily informal and is characterised by high-quality relationships. However, instances of negative mentoring experiences and perceptions were also identified. The study indicates that positive or negative mentoring did not directly associate with the common mentoring outcomes, such as willingness to participate in future mentoring, intentions to stay at the organisation, and career advancement. Instead, the indirect relationships of mentoring experiences were observed via social exchange orientation, perceived organisation support, and self-efficacy.

Qualitative findings were presented as nine main themes and described as beliefs about mentoring, the need for mentoring in clinical practice, the roles played by different stakeholders, development of the mentoring relationship, mentoring processes, positive experiences realised from mentoring, negative aspects of mentoring, obstacles to mentoring and opportunities for mentoring in the workplace. These themes explained, confirmed, and sometimes produced discordant findings to the quantitative results.

Conclusion: This study delves into the relational and organisational contexts of informal mentoring experienced by nurses and midwives in hospital settings in Uganda, shedding light on significant and context-specific issues. The findings of this study contribute valuable insights and knowledge regarding the experiences and perceptions of informal mentoring among nurses and midwives. Moreover, in conjunction with existing research evidence, the researcher proposes a novel framework called the "mentoring egg framework" to illustrate the contextual nature of mentoring and to foster the development of high-quality mentoring programs for nurses and midwives within Ugandan hospitals.

Keywords: Mentor, Informal mentoring, Continuous professional development, Mixed Methods

Subject: Nursing thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2024
School: College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Supervisor: Professor Lily Xiao