The Value of Nurse Mentorship in Oncology


In this episode of “The Vitals,” 2 veteran oncology nurses discuss the value of mentorship—particularly for novice nurses.

For this episode of “The Vitals,” we spoke with Patricia Jakel, MN, RN, AOCN, University of California Los Angeles Health, and Elspeth Knill-Selby, a nurse practitioner in breast surgery at Yale Cancer Center. The 2 experts discuss the rewards of mentorship—from both a providing and receiving perspective, as well as the importance of nurturing young nurses as they transition to acute care.

“I think to be a well-rounded mentor, you have to have a good sense of self and understand yourself—and be able to articulate your feelings in a positive way.”

“I think I look at mentorship as kind of nurturing somebody along the way, and hopefully contributing to their success in what it is that they choose to do. In nursing, sometimes, and in medicine as well, people can kind of ‘eat their young’, so to speak. Therefore, I would look at it as nurturing and trying to create an environment that's not threatening—because certainly when you go in to nursing, and when you go into [an] advanced practice role, it's scary.”

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