Developing a Pilot Online Learning and Mentorship Website for Nurses
The Ontario Nursing Connection (ONC) was a project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. It used electronic telecommunication tools via the internet as a vehicle for information exchange and virtual connection for nurses and other healthcare professionals. With a focus on three themes (leadership, mentorship, and interprofessional practice), this innovative website attracted close to 11,000 site visitors in a 12-month pilot period. Registered users (N = 645) who participated in a variety of learning and mentorship opportunities hailed from 29 countries around the world. Enhancements to existing software modules and new programming specific to the design of the project were used to create a rich repository of resources (text-based, audio, audio-visual, and virtual) on a number of topic areas. Additionally, through a virtual mentorship program, the ONC provided real time opportunities for knowledge transfer and support for career mobility. Learning from this project can now be applied to the development of a more permanent portal focusing on these themes and utilizing readily available and easily accessible technology to support continuous learning and professional development for nurses and other healthcare professionals.
KeywordsMentorship Virtual learning environment Online mentorship
This project was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the IMPLC Fund. The authors wish to thank the IT development team at York University for their support of the project.
- 1.College of Nurses of Ontario (2002) Practice standards revised 2002. Author, TorontoGoogle Scholar
- 2.Bruce BC, Levin JA (1997) Educational technology: media for inquiry, communication, construction, and expression. J Educ Comput Res 17(1): 79–102 http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~chip/pubs/taxonomy/
- 3.Tourigny L, Pulich M (2005) A critical examination of formal and informal mentoring among nurses. Health Care Manag 24(1):68–76Google Scholar
- 6.Axmann M (2001) Effective learning strategies for the online environment: including the lost learner. In: Okamoto T, Hartley R, Kinshuk et al (eds) Advanced learning technology: issues, achievements and challenges. IEEE Comput Soc, Los Alamitos, CAGoogle Scholar
- 7.Axmann M (2002) An online mentorship programme for the online educator: patterning for success. In: McNamara S, Stacey E (eds) Untangling the web: establishing learning links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7–10 July. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/2002/axmann.html
- 8.Ntshinga WL (2010) World wide web (WWW) Tools enhancing mentorship. In: INTED2010 proceedings, 4th international technology, education and development conference 2010, Valencia, 8–10 March 2010Google Scholar