Mentorship can be meaningful across the many roles and disciplines in higher education and throughout professional contexts. As a relational practice, mentorship can support the creation of a safe, inclusive, and respectful culture of learning and growth through self-exploration, reflection, curiosity, and identity formation. Through conducting rigorous collaborative research, the Nowell Research Lab provides evidence based recommendations for mentorship innovations.

Mentorship in Nursing Academia

Mentorship is perceived as vital to maintaining high-quality education programs and nursing educators globally have called for mentorship to help address the nursing faculty shortage. Our research provides evidence on the current state of mentorship in nursing academia and provides insights into how to carefully and thoughtfully develop, implement, and evaluate mentorship in academic nursing settings.


This work was funded by the Western North-Western Region of Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing

  • Nowell, L., Norris, J., Mrklas, K. & White, D. (2017) A literature review of mentorship programs in academic nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing. 33(5), 224-244.

  • Nowell, L., Norris, J., Mrklas, K. & White, D. (2016) Mixed methods systematic review exploring mentorship outcomes in nursing academia.  Journal of Advanced Nursing. 73(3), 527-544.
  • Nowell, L., White, D., Mrklas, K. & Norris, J. (2015) Mentorship in nursing academia: A systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 4(16), 1-9.

  • Nowell, L. (2014) The lived experience of neophyte nursing instructors: Mentorship and its role in their development. Nursing: Research and Reviews, 2014(4), 117-127.

  • Nowell, L., White, D., Benzies, K. & Rosenau, P. (2017) Exploring mentorship programs and components in nursing academia: A qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. 7(9), 42- 53.

  • Nowell, L., White, D.E., Benzies, K. & Rosenau, P. (2017) Factors that impact implementation of mentorship programs in nursing academia: A sequential-explanatory mixed methods study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 7(10), 1-11.

  • Nowell, L. (2018) Mentorship in nursing academia: A qualitative study and call to action. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 9(3), 85-94

Practice Learning and Teaching Orientations (PLATO)

The PLATO project aims to facilitate students and preceptors to be self-reflective and appreciative of other perspectives while developing student/preceptor relationships that are cultivated through their everyday interactions. Working with various preceptors in our communities, this project presents an opportunity to foster the development of authentic and meaningful experiential learning experiences for our students. Alberta Health Services is one of our long standing community partners and providing support for preceptors helps strengthen this important relationship. Placing student learning at the center of this project will inform relevant, meaningful, and evidence-based learning experiences that support nursing student and preceptor development. The findings from this project will inform high-quality and high-impact teaching and learning experiences by focusing on developing true student/preceptor partnerships.


This work is funded by a University of Calgary Teaching Scholars Grant


This work is being conducted in collaboration with the Manchester Metropolitan University.