Hospital News, February 2011
The Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship Program is a partnership between the Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster University School of Nursing, Cancer Care Ontario, and the de Souza Institute. The purpose of the program is to promote the professional development and implementation of generalist, specialized, and advanced practice oncology nurses through career planning and mentorship. Since its inception in 2007, the Program has matched over 100 pairs of novice oncology nurses with experienced nurses, which have guided them further on their career path. It is important to mention that you do not necessarily have to be a new graduate to be considered a “novice”. The Program uses the term “novice” to describe any nurse who is new to a role or area of practice. The Program accepts, as mentees, Ontario nurses who want to further their professional practice and careers in oncology and palliative care, and as mentors, nurses from across Canada who have expertise in a clinical area, academia, leadership, or research!
Literature has shown that the mentor, mentee and their employer benefit from mentoring relationships. These benefits include:
- Improved role confidence and role autonomy
- Improved job satisfaction, retention, and productivity
- Development of new knowledge and skills
- Opportunities for career advancement
- Personal and professional growth
- Enhanced networking and inter-professional collaboration
- High mentor and mentee program satisfaction
- Intra-professional, inter-professional and long distance mentoring relationships were feasible and acceptable
- e-based platform increased access to effective communication and resources
The Program offers Career Development, Mentorship Training, and Résumé Writing for Nurses Workshops free of charge to program participants through funding provided by the de Souza Institute, access to expert consultants for individual and group support, and stipends to support distance mentoring. The program also has an interactive website where users can access tools such as career development resources, evidence based articles, and discussion boards.
Insider express, January 2011
Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship Program gives nurses unparalleled opportunities for professional growth
In 2007, Christine Zywine was working as a clinical nurse specialist in palliative care at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, but she was looking to make a change. She was interested in oncology and wanted to learn more about that field.
Luckily, there was a great resource available to her called the Oncology Nursing e‐Mentorship Program, which is a partnership between Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster University School of Nursing, Cancer Care Ontario and the deSouza Institute. Through this program she was paired with an experienced oncology nurse from the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC), named Lorraine Martelli‐Reid, who helped Christine access learning resources and network in that discipline.
Just three months later, Christine applied for an advanced practice nurse (APN) role on the head and neck disease site team at the JCC and was hired. Ironically, she ended up working in the same office as Lorraine, and rather than continue with the e‐Mentorship program, they collaborated face‐to‐face as colleagues.
Hospital News, January 2011
|Ontario Nurses receive oncology education and support at no cost
|Nurses in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre use videoconference to participate in de Souza Institute programs.
When Anna Maria de Souza was treated for cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital in 2007, she was touched by the nursing care she received. As one of Toronto’s most distinguished philanthropists and founder of Toronto’s Brazilian Ball, Anna Maria raised over $50 million for various deserving institutions. After a courageous battle she passed away in September 2007.
“While in the hospital she often told me how she felt grateful for the caring and supportive nurses who treat cancer patients,” says Ivan de Souza, Anna Maria’s husband. “Anna believed these special nurses needed to be supported too.”
Anna Maria’s vision of supporting oncology nurses came to life in March of 2008 when the de Souza Institute was founded. Established with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Institute provides education, professional development and career counseling to Ontario nurses who care for cancer patients in any setting; whether in the hospital, clinic or home.
The Institute offers high quality and diverse educational opportunities to nurses in every corner of the province at no cost. All 14 Ontario regional cancer centres have received $100,000 from the Institute to provide the space and infrastructure for nurses to learn. Using telemedicine, innovative technologies and live events, the Institute provides education to nurses in their local care settings.
Now in its third year of operation, de Souza Institute has provided support and continuing education to over 2000 Ontario nurses. This includes helping hundreds of nurses become certified in oncology or hospice palliative care through weekly study sessions for the national Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) exams.
“The certification exams are challenging and do require a lot of studying and perseverance,” says Mikki Layton, a de Souza study group participant and former Nurse Manager at Toronto East General Hospital, “But with the Institute’s study group and financial support, our team worked together to meet this important challenge.”
Over 46 nurses have also received scholarships of up to $20,000 to support their graduate studies (Masters or PhD) in an oncology or palliative care related field. The Institute has garnered overwhelming participation in its many courses and workshops, including those on pain and symptom management, chemotherapy administration, patient navigation and emotional care.
Building on its success, the Institute recently expanded its programs to support more nursing professionals. Now Ontario nurses caring for pediatric oncology patients can participate in continuing education tailored to their area of practice. The Institute has also launched the de Souza Nurse designation, an initiative that challenges nurses to fulfill the Institute’s educational and clinical requirements to achieve the highest level of specialized training. The Institute also provides career development and mentorship opportunities through the Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship Program.
Anna Maria’s dream of supporting all cancer nurses will continue to be possible through the Institute. Mr. de Souza adds, “The Institute is integral to improving cancer care and I know Anna would be proud to attach her name to such a significant program.”
Any Ontario nurses interested in participating in de Souza programs can visit their website at www.desouzanurse.ca.
Cancer Care Ontario: Oncology Nursing Program Newsletter, Fall 2010
The Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship program promotes the professional development and implementation of generalist, specialized, and advanced practice oncology nurses through career planning and mentorship. The mentor/mentee relationship is predominantly based in the virtual world and, has its advantages and challenges.
The main advantage is the opportunity to be connected with the person who has the right expertise, chosen by our complex electronic matching system, regardless of distance. While our pairs agree that in-person contact is important and have utilized mainly phone and e-mail contact, they have also used other clever means of communication. Some attended conferences or workshops together with the aid of travel stipends provided by the program; others used the e-mentorship online discussion forums; others have used Skype. Skype is an online software that allows users to communicate via video and voice calling. The program currently offers group and private discussion forums and the chance to share and edit documents from different locations through a wiki page, on our new website, at www.oncologynursingmentorship.ca
While challenges pertaining to developing and maintaining a relationship exist with virtual mentorship, one of our mentors feels that the lack of in person face-to-face time does not interfere with the ultimate purpose: “being a mentor does not require face-to-face...what it does require is commitment to pursuing the mutual goals and staying the course”. The mentee perspective varies. One mentee reflects, “People communicate in different ways. For me, having the opportunity to meet my mentor in addition to utilizing electronic communication techniques helped to reinforce the messages I was receiving. It added a positive dimension to the relationship building and overall experience.”
Hamilton Mountain News, June 2010
On Tuesday June 1, an open house was held at the Juravinski Cancer Centre to celebrate the new expanded Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship Program – a collaboration between the de Souza Institute and the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Oncology (OAPN). Initiatives such as this are important for the professional growth and development of nurses. For novice nurses, the e-Mentorship program provides a way to connect with and learn from an expert in the Oncology field. For Mentors, the interaction it is a great way to keep engaged in a meaningful way, in their own careers.
Since the partnership began in 2007, there have been a total of 80 mentor-mentee pairings. And this number is sure to rapidly increase with the program expanding to include mentee participants from Oncology Advance Practice Nurses as well as all nurses across the province who care for cancer patients. A new electronic collaborative platform was also created to help facilitate access to program resources and promote interaction and networking among program participants who may be located anywhere in the province.
There is no other e-based mentorship program for nurses in Canada and this program has been evaluated and demonstrated to be valuable for both mentee and mentor participants in regards to job satisfaction and role development. Mentorship support is key to recruiting and maintaining high quality nursing staff and delivering excellence in Oncology Nursing care at Hamilton Health Sciences and across Ontario.
The expanded Oncology Nursing e-Mentorship Program is supported by a five year fund totaling $1.5 million from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the de Souza Institute. The program is also supported in kind by Cancer Care Ontario, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Juravinski Cancer Centre and the School of Nursing at McMaster University.