The Role of Mentoring in the Career Advancement of Hispanic Army Nurse


Name: Margarita Aponte

Rank: COL, USA

Organization: George Mason University

Performance Site: Military medical facilities within the U.S. and overseas

Year Published: 2001

Abstract Status: Final


The purpose of this study was to describe which mentoring activities, if any, influenced career advancement, promotion, and retention of Hispanic in the Army Nurse Corps. The Alleman Mentoring Scale Questionnaire (AMSQ), a demographic questionnaire and face-to-face interviews were used for data collection. Sixty (60) Hispanic Army Nurse Corps officers responded to the questionnaires and 10 of them were interviewed. The sample included 47% of the total population of U.S. Army Hispanic Nurses serving on active duty.Forty-one (68.3%) of the participants indicated that they did not have a mentor and the remainder, 19 (31.7%) indicated they currently had a mentor. The Chi-square test showed no significant association between mentored and non-mentored participants with regard to work effectiveness, career success, career development, retention, and promotion. However, there were statistically significant findings on mentoring and receiving challenging assignments, guidance, counseling, and resources to be an effective leader.The mean scores of the AMSQ subscales indicated that the mentoring activities most likely for the participants to engage in were "Teach the job", "Demonstrated Trust", and "Challenging Tasks". The Pearson correlation analysis showed a positive relationship between age and the AMSQ subscales: Demonstrated Trust", "Endorse Acts, Views", and "Protect". The t-test results indicated that those participants with higher rank significantly score trust as one of the most important mentoring activities on their career.Several barriers for career success at the mid-career level were identified by the participants as factors precipitating their decision to leave the Army: lack of trust and acceptance, lack of getting challenging assignments that will help them to advanced within the military ranks, discrimination due to the language (having an accent or been bilingual), and marginalization by leaders on positions of power.The career ladder in the Army Nurse Corps consists of a series of developmental activities leading the officer to advanced positions which are link to future promotions. There is a need for mentoring early in Hispanic officers' career to explain the ins and outs of complicated hierarchies and promotions which at the end will fulfill the overall Army goal, retention of good and competent soldiers.


Final report is available on NTRL: