Rodica S. Pop

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing



First Advisor

Donelle M Barnes


In 2009, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners report identified more than 125, 000 Nurse Practitioners (NP) working in the United States. As the number of NPs increases and their role expands, questions about their work satisfaction and ability to learn and perform the role arise. Since NPs have to combine a nursing philosophy with a medical care model, it is often difficult to mediate the two approaches and fully understand the role. Mentoring has been successfully used to facilitate role transition and role understanding for nurses and physicians, but has been rarely studied in NPs. Although widely used in nursing and medicine, the concept of mentoring is poorly defined and often used interchangeably with coaching and precepting, thus making program design and evaluation difficult. The purpose of this study was to develop a theory of mentoring for NPs in a hospital setting. A total of 18 participants (eight mentors and eight mentees) were interviewed to learn about their experience with mentoring. A three component mentoring process emerged from the data: forming the relationship, developing the relationship, and outcomes. While some of the themes identified in this study have been previously discussed, others like journey, career path, gain a friend, and defining self have never been associated with mentoring. Nurse practitioners participating in this study were continuously defining both personally and professionally in an effort to improve themselves. The journey to a successful mentoring relationship required hard work, commitment, and trust. When mentoring participants took the time to know each other and were able to build trust, the relationship moved beyond the traditional framework of formal mentoring into informal mentoring and friendship.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Nursing Commons