How we started

Nursing is a network. In practice, nurses support each other, guide each other and help each other learn and grow. The expertise and guidance that registered nurses are able to provide is invaluable to students, new graduates and colleagues alike. 

In 2014, the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary identified the need to develop and maintain strong links with nurse alumni.  Over the next two years, the faculty reached out to alumni – through dinners, newsletters and events like the Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture – to explore ways that alumni would like to engage with the university and with current nursing students. 

Overwhelmingly, alumni stated their interest in mentoring students and in sharing some of the wisdom they have accrued through their personal and professional lives.

In 2016, the faculty began to research online platforms that would help make a nursing mentorship initiative simple and effective, and would allow students and RNs with different schedules, but a shared interest in mentorship, to connect.

The university already had developed and established an online mentorship program, Cybermentor, through the Schulich School of Engineering. The program was found to use a site that closely mirrored the identified needs for an online platform for nursing mentorship, and we set out to reconfigure this online platform to meet the needs of nursing students and alumni.

In 2017, the NurseMentor pilot program was officially launched, with an initial cohort of 15 mentors and mentees. In its second year, the program grew exponentially to 110 participants, including both early stage and graduating students paired with talented nurses across all disciplines.