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InEmory program proves that mentoring matters

A fourth semester student in the InEmory Master of Nursing program is doing his part to inspire and help the next generation of nurses have a smooth transition into nursing school. Daniel Martell started the InEmory Peer Mentoring Program in January 2022. His goal? To help mentees in any way possible. This ranges from providing study tips to helping students pursue different nursing interests to just being there for students who need support. 

“As someone who has chosen nursing as a second career, it had been more than 10 years since I was enrolled as a full-time student,” said Martell. “As I entered my nursing program, I thought it would be helpful to have access to a fellow student who could help me navigate a lot of the new experiences that first-semester nursing students encounter. In speaking with my classmates, I found that this was a common feeling and many people felt that being able to connect with students who had recently been in our same position would be beneficial.” 

The program aimed toward first semester InEmory students has far exceeded Martell’s expectations. There are over 60 first semester InEmory students participating – and the participation is paying off. 

“Aside from building new relationships with future nurses, the mentorship program has helped me navigate my life in and out of academics as my occupation shifted from a full-time employee to a full-time student,” said Steven C. Davis. He’s one of the mentees in the program. 

“Having a mentor matters because that person has been here before,” said mentee Abigail Rogers. “My mentor, Daija Dennis, was exactly where I was now a year ago. I love seeing what there is to look forward to a year from now.” 

Dennis wants to give the mentorship guidance that she didn’t have. 

“I help my mentees by fostering an environment of safety and community among us,” she said. “Navigating nursing school can be very hard, especially figuring it out by yourself. I have been meeting up once a month with my mentees off campus to have fun and offer support to them in any way I can.”

The program is open to all InEmory students, and information about participation is shared before students begin orientation. Martell hopes that his mission to facilitate connections among students continues even after he graduates. 

“I hope to pass this program on to the current 1st semester InEmory cohort so that they can mentor the next cohort of students that begin in January 2023,” he shared. “I hope that this becomes part of the DNA of the InEmory program and would love to see it expand to other pre-licensure programs in the School of Nursing. We have also discussed how mentorship could continue as students graduate and become nurses at Emory Healthcare. I am extremely grateful for the support of the InEmory Program Director, Dr. Bethany Robinson, who has been instrumental in getting this program started; I have great confidence that her leadership will help this program improve for future cohorts.”

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