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Public Health Nurse Mentorship of Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

This study explored the experience of the mentoring relationship for public health nurses (PHNs) and teen parents.

Design and Sample

PHNs and teen parents who participated in the Parenting and Teen Program provided qualitative data about mentorship provided by PHNs.

Measures

The participants were asked open-ended questions that addressed interactions; meaning of success for the teen; and support, information given, and decisions made in the context of the mentoring relationship.

Results

Data analysis of the PHN (n = 7) data revealed eight mentorship themes: (1) being nonjudgmental, (2) working with strengths, (3) meeting the teens where they were, (4) sticking with the teen, (5) honoring persons, (6) giving information, (7) making referrals, and (8) facilitating decisions. Analysis of the teen data (n = 11) resulted in four mentorship themes: (1) trustworthiness of the PHN, (2) the PHN as part of their support network, (3) independence building, and (4) help with decision making.

Conclusions

Parenting teens viewed PHNs as contributing to their success in managing their lives and becoming successful parents. They viewed PHNs as trustworthy, supportive, encouraging their independence, and facilitating positive decision making.

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