Mentoring matters: Developing rural nurses knowledge and skills Academic Article uri icon


  • Mentoring, the alliance of two people with varying degrees of experience in order to create opportunities for support and learning, is being encouraged as a response to current workforce issues in Australian rural nursing. The nursing profession is beginning to recognise the benefits of mentorship in providing psychosocial support and role acquisition skills to novice practitioners. These outcomes are valuable for enhancing the recruitment and retention of staff. The Mentor Development and Support Project of The Association for Australian Rural Nurses (AARN), established in 2003, was a strategy for increasing mentoring in the rural nursing workforce. This project aimed to develop the capacity of rural nurses to mentor effectively, as well as provide support for them for the duration of the mentoring partnership. This article reports on aspects of the AARN project. It includes a discussion of the need for planned mentor development opportunities and provides the rationale for the curriculum content of project workshops. It also includes evaluated outcomes for participants in the project.

publication date

  • January 2006