Female students collaborate in auditorium

Senior nursing students help guide freshmen

Senior nursing students at Penn State Mont Alto provided guidance to first-year nursing and prenursing students during the fall 2019 semester. 

The mentoring program is a collaboration between two nursing courses and partially funded by an Innovative Grant from the Schreyer Institute of Teaching Excellence.

Nursing faculty Dr. Stephanie Unger and Lisa Ward established the pilot program. Mentoring in the nursing program is expected to expand in the near future, benefiting mentees and building leadership skills in mentors. 

Feedback from mentors and mentees was positive, Unger said.

The first-year students said the mentoring program helped them adjust to college. When asked to measure their satisfaction with the overall experience, they rated it a 3.9 on a 4-point scale.

Molly Nowell, senior nursing student, said her experience as a mentor developed her leadership and communication skills, a sentiment shared by the other upperclassmen. She thought it would be helpful to start the mentoring program earlier for nursing students. The mentors also said they felt appreciated by the students they assisted.