top of page


“There was one black woman on faculty and she was my lifeline. She advocated for me. She allowed me to vent. I credit her as being one of the reasons I am here today. Black students can’t, or at least shouldn’t do it without this. I think it’s hard to be successful without feeling respected or….cared for….or feeling like the environment really values my contribution. Does that make sense? It’s really hard to get to content without some of the more ‘abstract’ stuff being in place.” - Zora in Goode 2014, p.80

The Important Role of Mentors
The Important Role of Mentors
  • "Mentoring may provide essential and crucial elements for students of color to succeed academically and serve as an excellent intervention to better ensure the success of ethnically diverse students entering health professions such as midwifery."  (Valentin-Welch, JMWH 2016)

  • "The  data  from  this  current research resonates with previous research and lends support for mentoring among minority nursing students. Participants emphasized not knowing expectations of nursing courses prior to admission, needing advisement of studying and test-taking techniques, and experiencing fear, stress, and anxiety...Findings also provide support for factors documented elsewhere in the literature: isolation and loneliness, diversity, support, and test-taking skills." (Payton, Howe, Timmons & Richardson, 2013, p. 176)

  • Faculty of color (FOC) play an important role in mentoring students and other FOC in schools of nursing...FOC Having Influence is a key process that explicates the influence FOC wield, exposing their work, which is often taken for granted, hidden, and, unacknowledged...Although much of participants’ re- ported activities were consistent with activities traditionally expected of mentors, much of the work done on behalf of students and other FOC went beyond the traditional mentoring role." (Hassouneh & Lutz, 2013, p.153,156) 

  • How Mentoring Programs Influence Workforce Diversity (Minority Nurse, Oct 9, 2013)

Future Needs
Future Needs

  • Mentors should be paid to support aspiring midwives of color:

    • Dr. Nancy Anderson's qualitative research for NACPM revealed the important role of mentorship in supporting aspiring midwives of color to become certified but also found that the limited number of mentors can put a strain on practicing midwives who themselves are already marginalized.

  • More mentors are needed

    • The Grand Challenge helps connect mentors to birth workers of color - Become a Mentor 

  • Informal mentorship should be recognized as important unpaid work especially because it is often done by underrepresented faculty and staff (Hassouneh & Lutz, 2013)

    • Consider formal recognition and paid mentorship programs

  • Ensure underrepresented Faculty have access to Mentoring 

  • For the ACNM E-Mentoring Program:  "Recommended areas of improvement center on the mentor-mentee communication process and techniques to minimize the impact of the absence of geographic proximity." (Valentin-Welch, JMWH 2016)




  • ACNM E-Mentoring Program:
    "This study suggests that the online mentoring program for student midwives of color currently being offered should continue but with enhancements to improve the face-to-face mentoring experience, including the use of computer-based technology." (Valentin-Welch, JMWH 2016)

  • The change project MENTOR is a 16 week mentoring program that can be implemented into any nursing curriculum. (Mentoring Ethnically diverse Nursing students To increase Overall Retention) in ABNF, 2013.

  • Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program

  • "Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Ohio provides one-to-one attention, consultation, and mentoring to assist men and minority students throughout their entire college experience. Known as the Learning Trails program, this mentoring activity has helped the school achieve retention and graduation rates that exceed national averages." (AACN 2001)

  • "The University of Florida (UF) and Bethune-Cookman College have developed a consortium to increase minority student enrollment in graduate nursing programs at UF. A central element of this partnership, the Gator-Cats Mentoring Program, provides mentoring, career counseling and financial planning advice for undergraduate students and alumni who want to pursue graduate studies. Students attend workshops on topics ranging from...the fundamentals of research methodologies, time management and other skills needed to successfully complete a graduate degree. Faculty workshops also are conducted to heighten sensitivity to issues that may affect the minority student's ability to succeed. "...The consortium has helped all of the faculty members and students involved to develop more cultural sensitivity," said UF Dean Kathleen A. Long, PhD, RN, FAAN." (AACN 2001)

  • "Colalillo (2007) also reported on an enrichment mentoring program and concluded that the pass and retention rates among mentored students were higher than among nonmentored students. Students received a detailed orientation to the curriculum and available advisement and counseling resources, followed by six weekly group sessions, facilitated by a faculty mentor, focusing on basic study skills and stress management. Mentored students had a passing rate of 87 percent to 94 percent and a 100 percent retention rate; nonmentored students from the same period had a passing rate of 57 percent to 87 percent and a retention rate of 75 percent to 83 percent." (Payton, Howe, Timmons & Richardson, 2013, p. 173)

  • The Diversity Mentorship Program at Brigham and Womens began in 1996. They establish mentors for their newly licensed nurses who come from all over the world and credit the program's retention rate for helping to change the cultural climate at their facilities. (BWH Nurse, 2003)

“They believed that mentoring was one way to help expand diversity in midwifery and that it required reaching out to those who were not from the majority white culture. In so doing, the legacy would go beyond the student to those for whom she would care

in the future.” 

Kennedy et al, 2006, p. 89

“The value of mentoring requires understanding the strengths, insecurities, and fears of individual students. It also means reaching out early to help potential students see that they can be successful in midwifery. Only by doing this can we, as midwifery faculty and preceptors, really open the avenues for them to discover and capitalize on their strengths and

achieve their goals.” 


Kennedy et al, 2006, p. 89

Mentoring At-Risk Students Through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education

"This book offers an innovative mentoring model...written for administrators, faculty, student affairs professionals and students to promote retention, academic success, and create a more transparent, inclusive, and equitable higher education system."

- Smith, B., 2013

Additional Resources
Additional Resources


  • Mentoring At-Risk Students Through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education. by Buffy Smith, 2013.



Faculty Mentoring Resources


from the


Mentoring Association


Reading List


*Must register for a free standard membership

bottom of page