Bain LE, Mbouamba Yankam B Global health mentorship: challenges and opportunities for equitable partnership. BMJ Glob Health. 2023; 8:(11)

Booth RG, Strudwick G, McBride S, OConnor S, Solano Lopez AL How the nursing profession should adapt for a digital future. BMJ. 2021; 373

Carter V Can restorative clinical supervision positively impact the psychological safety of midwives and nurses?. Br J Nurs. 2022; 31:(15)818-820

Hamid M, Rasheed MA A new path to mentorship for emerging global health leaders in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet Glob Health. 2022; 10:(7)e946-e948

Intensive Care Society. Peer support. 2020. https// (accessed 24 April 2024)

Virtual mentoring for early career nurses, educators, and researchers. 2017. http// (accessed 29 April 2024)

Lin Y, Frey CB, Wu L Remote collaboration fuses fewer breakthrough ideas. Nature. 2023; 623:(7989)987-991

Lorentzon M, Brown K Florence Nightingale as ‘mentor of matrons’: correspondence with Rachel Williams at St Mary's Hospital. J Nurs Manag. 2003; 11:(4)266-74

Manzi A, Hirschhorn LR, Sherr K, Chirwa C, Baynes C, Awoonor-Williams JK Mentorship and coaching to support strengthening healthcare systems: lessons learned across the five Population Health Implementation and Training partnership projects in sub-Saharan Africa. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017; 17

Notter J, Carter C, Sakala-Mukonka P Handing on the baton: developing early career nurse leaders. Br J Nurs. 2022; 31:(9)504-505

Page B, Irving D, Amalberti R, Vincent C Health services under pressure: a scoping review and development of a taxonomy of adaptive strategies. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;

Plamondon KM, Brisbois B, Dubent L, Larson CP Assessing how global health partnerships function: an equity-informed critical interpretive synthesis. Global Health. 2021; 17:(1)

Setati C., Nkosi ZZ The perceptions of professional nurses on student mentorship in clinical areas: A study in Polokwane municipality hospitals, Limpopo province. Health SA Gesondheid. 2017; 22:130-137

Shiferaw B., Abetu Mehari E., Eshete T eHealth literacy and internet use among undergraduate nursing students in a resource limited country: A cross-sectional study. Informatics in Medicine Unlocked. 2020; 18

Tropical Health and Education Trust. Volunteering in a time of COVID-19. 2021. https// (accessed 24 April 2024)

Tropical Health and Education Trust. The health partnership model. 2023. https// (accessed 24 April 2024)

Wallbank S Reflecting on leadership in health visiting and the restorative model of supervision. Journal of health visiting. 2013; 1:(3)173-176

Virtual mentorship: the opportunities and limitations for nurses in international health partnerships

09 May 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 9

In today's post-COVID-19 world, the impact of the pandemic on global healthcare systems has resulted in them operating under substantial pressure, and this is expected to continue for the foreseeable future (Page et al, 2023). This inevitably impacts on the prioritisation of resources, which include health professionals.

International health partnerships are reliant on health professionals sharing and exchanging knowledge and expertise either virtually or through in-country visits. However, in the current climate, health professionals may feel they are already overstretched, and therefore finding the time to commit to working with an international project may be difficult. In consequence, virtual projects and activities may offer a solution. This is increasingly possible because the COVID-19 pandemic led to rapid transition to, and acceptance of, virtual activities for partnerships (Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), 2021; 2023).

Birmingham City University's health partnership with emergency, trauma and critical care nurses in Zambia is no exception and we have had several successful virtual volunteering projects. We have recently commenced a new partnership project on virtual mentorship. In preparation for the project, the partnership team reviewed the published literature to check if our approach was appropriate and based on current evidence. In previous projects, activities have been co-ordinated using a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model, in which the university acted as the hub. The spokes of the model are made up of emergency, trauma and critical care nurses working in acute NHS hospitals who provide their Zambian peers with virtual and in-country expertise, as requested. This provides a forum through which nurses can volunteer on different levels, both virtually and/or in-country. Also, with hospitals under pressure, this model of volunteering maximises effectiveness by increasing the pool of volunteers available and also increases opportunities for nurses who may not be able to travel overseas.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content