Jan. 12, 2022

Emergency room nurse motivated to mentor the next generation

New 'pandemic' RNs like Sydney Flodstedt, BN’20 show dedication to their upcoming colleagues, keen to shed light on the student experience they remember well
Sydney Flodstedt, nurse mentor
Sydney Flodstedt, BN'20

January is National Mentoring Month. To celebrate, we’re featuring mentors from our NurseMentor program who illustrate the value of mentoring. Mentoring is especially important for our students graduating this year who will begin their careers during a challenging time.

Every year UCalgary Nursing’s mentoring program gets an eager crop of new mentors who are new to their profession yet motivated to give back.

These recent grads are “fresh hires” who have made that infamously difficult transition – and during a pandemic. Their passion is ignited despite the challenges and they are excited to share their experience with a student, to offer guidance in any way they can.

Mentor Sydney Flodstedt, BN’20, an emergency nurse in Calgary, tells us why she was driven to help a student and how mentoring has also been a benefit to her.

“I first heard of the NurseMentor program through the Faculty of Nursing's social media page. I actually hadn't heard of the program while I was in nursing school...or maybe I had and the information had just gotten lost somewhere along with studying for exams, attending clinical and trying to balance the craziness of nursing school. Either way, I thought to myself, ‘Wow...that would have been great to have during school.’

“I am typically a very independent person, and throughout my life have learned to figure a lot out on my own, usually through trial and error and a lot of unnecessary frustration. It wasn't until my last semester of nursing school that I really started to value the guidance that a mentor-type figure can offer. I was lucky enough to develop a great relationship with my final focus preceptor, and though it wasn't a formal mentorship, he really helped me navigate the transition from school to work.

Knowing the value of a mentor and how much I could have benefited from that relationship during school was what motivated me to become involved in the mentorship program.

Natalia Monro

Natalia Monro, third-year UCalgary Nursing student

"I took on this role soon after graduating for a number of reasons, one being that my experience of entering the workforce was so recent that I figured if anyone had the most up-to-date information it would probably be me. And two, because I am still learning so much, that I’d also benefit from the relationship. I felt that all the questions a student could have would only push me to keep expanding my own knowledge and understanding of nursing, and the intricate, often confusing nature of this job.

“I am so grateful for this experience and hope to continue to provide support to all the soon-to-be nurses who are not only facing a big life transition, but doing so in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Third-year nursing student Natalia Monro explains why she has enjoyed her mentoring partnership with Sydney so far.

“Since Sydney is such a new grad she can relate to a lot of our frustrations, excitements and particular experiences. She offers relevant and practical advice on how to succeed in Term 5 and is very encouraging when we feel overwhelmed or stressed. She also provides insight as to what it is like to be a new grad emergency room nurse and explains why she finds that it provides her with a solid baseline and makes her more marketable.”

NurseMentor, in its fifth year of programming, offers a valuable opportunity for undergraduate students to connect with practicing nurses for support and guidance. There are currently over 200 students and nurses who benefit from the program and we invite more to join. Undergraduate nursing students are invited to join NurseMentor to be paired with a practicing RN who can help inspire and encourage them.