A Message From Focused Care's Founder

Mark McKenzie, CEO

Mentoring for the Future

August 2022 Founder’s Message

Mentoring for the Future


I was considering what to write about for this last official month of summer as a global heat wave descends across land and water, news of layoffs and hiring freezes in many sectors are triggering economic jitters as confusing government reports are released on rising inflation juxtaposed to job growth and increased consumer spending – both seem to contradict a full blown recession.

Life can feel heavy these days and the future might look a little blurred.

In our business – on top of everything else – the nursing workforce shortage is never far from mind – we live and breathe the impact.  What can we do to fill the gap, strengthen the pipeline and keep good people?  The answers to all of those things are numerous and involve a concerted effort among many stakeholders. But one of the things we can all do on both a personal and professional level is mentor.

Mentoring folks does not have to be a heavy lift and even if you are a personality who doesn’t think you fit that role, I can tell you – you underestimate your ability to change someone’s life and possibly your own.

Mentoring isn’t just about offering guidance and direction on the nuts and bolts of a position held by a less experienced person than yourself, it is also about expressing understanding for and passing down recommendations on how to address the intellectual, mental and emotional aspects of delivering on the job to the best of one’s ability.  And just as importantly, recognizing the effort it requires to strive for excellence in the workplace while managing a personal life and all that entails.

As a mentor, we can support professional growth, encourage goal setting, impart a depth of knowledge and perspective that experience brings, offer constructive assessments that will spur positive change and enhance work quality, clearly define expectations and – LISTEN and OBSERVE.

All of this sounds like common sense, but as mentors – paying attention to your mentee is critical.  Countless surveys indicate new nurses graduating from nursing school do not feel prepared for the field and believe their employer has different expectations than they do. That is a recipe for a dysfunctional workplace, an unhappy workforce and a dissatisfied employer. Mentoring shouldn’t cease after the certificate, degree or licensure is attained – it should be sought after throughout the beginning of one’s career and with every new position. Those who had great mentors usually turn out to be impactful ones themselves. How gratifying that is.

We are often mentors in our personal lives without really realizing it – teaching Sunday School, coaching a sport, being active in our community, or just through a casual conversation that impacts someone in need of guidance.

Mentoring forges a pathway to a better future for mentees and in our business, the very vulnerable people for whom we are responsible reap the benefits – as it should be.

I will be expounding on the topic of mentoring in future communications and I look forward to getting valuable insight from all who are engaged.

In times of uncertainty, I reach for the constants – the benefits of mentoring is one of them.