Andrea Thomson

BScPN, RPN, MPN;  Assistant Professor,  Brandon University

Poster Title: Undergraduate Peer Mentorship in Psychiatric Nursing: Implications for Program Development

Poster Description: Academic demands along with stressors inherent to daily life may be experienced as overwhelming for undergraduate psychiatric nursing students. There is a need to address the emotional wellbeing of students within nursing and psychiatric nursing undergraduate programs. A strategy to improve wellbeing among undergraduate psychiatric nursing students has involved strengthening peer relationships. Peer mentorship programs have been associated with positive outcomes for nursing and psychiatric students such as improved communication skills and enhanced academic performance. Nine psychiatric nursing student peer mentors were interviewed regarding their mentorship experiences. The mentorship experience helped students to develop skills that are valued by the profession of psychiatric nursing. The themes identified included: support, empathy, the mentor/mentee relationship, active listening, and leadership. The mentors also discussed challenges in the role, such as maintaining boundaries.

Learning Objectives:

Discuss implementation, development, and evaluation of an undergraduate peer mentorship program

Biography:Andrea Thomson is employed as an assistant professor at Brandon University (Winnipeg Campus) within the Department of Psychiatric Nursing. I have psychiatric nursing experience in a variety of roles including education, research, acute care, and counselling. Areas of research interest include the health and wellbeing of nursing and psychiatric nursing students, acute care mental health settings, psychiatric nursing boundaries, and suicide prevention.


Dana Naismith RPN, BA, BScPN, MHS
Dana is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatric Nursing.  Dana received an undergraduate Arts degree with a major in sociology at the University of Manitoba. She is also a Brandon University alumni, having obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing degree through BU. Dana later completed her Master of Health Studies degree through Athabasca University. Dana is also a co-facilitator of the psychiatric nursing peer mentorship program at the Winnipeg campus.

Nadine Smith RN, BN, MN
Nadine Smith is a Registered Nurse and Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatric Nursing. Nadine is also an Associate Member in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Brandon University as well as a member of the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health at Brandon University. Nadine is the facilitator of the psychiatric nursing peer mentorship program at the Brandon campus.

Andrea Thomson – Undergraduate Peer Mentorship in Psychiatric Nursing – Implications for Program Development


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