Aug. 31, 2018

Mentee gets on-the-job experience shadowing her mentor's shift on Intensive Care Unit

Mia Torres BN'15 gives mentee Samantha Garcia glimpse into nursing outside the classroom context
NurseMentor Sam and Mia
NurseMentor Sam and Mia

When mentors open their nursing lives up in real time to their mentees, wonderful moments can happen. Case in point: NurseMentor pair Mia Torres (BN’15) and her mentee, Samantha Garcia.

“My goal for participating in NurseMentor was to pay it forward – share my knowledge,” said Mia. “So I invited my mentee to shadow me on a day shift on the Intensive Care Unit where I currently work. I think it really opened her eyes to what an ICU RN does. She watched as I cared for an intubated, delirious and critically ill patient and she got to see how we handle code blues on the unit with ease.”

“It was an amazing opportunity,” Samantha said, adding that she hoped other mentors will offer this experience, if available, to their mentees. “My goal for participating in NurseMentor was to develop my leadership skills and better understand nursing outside of the classroom context."

"I really wanted to learn from someone I can look up to and be inspired by.”

It sounds like Mia definitely fit the bill. “I think nursing school paints a great picture of what nursing can be, but it doesn't delve into the realism and hardships that RNs go through on a daily basis,” she explains. “It was rewarding to see my mentee pick out those moments where things got hard for her as a student and allow me to best support her as well. Overall, I think she has developed a more realistic concept of what nursing is, and to use what inspires her to work through challenges and obstacles in making this a rewarding career.”

Mia appreciated the NurseMentor experience and continued on as a mentor into the second year of the program. “It has been great keeping connected with the faculty through this program. It is also nice seeing there are students who share the same anxieties and apprehensions about their future in nursing as I once did as a student. It made me feel good to put my mentee's anxieties and apprehensions at ease.”

UCalgary Nursing’s online mentoring program connecting alumni RNs with student nurses for professional and personal growth. To find out more, visit