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The role of mentoring in public health nutrition workforce development. Perspectives of advanced-level practitioners

  • Claire Palermo (a1) and Louise McCall (a2)

Abstract

Objective

To explore the nature, role and utility of mentoring in the development of competence in advanced-level Australian public health nutritionists.

Design

Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.

Subjects and setting

Eighteen advanced-level public health nutritionists working in academic and practice settings in Australia.

Results

The attributes and career pathways of the subjects were consistent with previous findings. Dissatisfaction with clinical practice was a key reason for choosing a career in public health. Experiential learning, postgraduate education and mentoring from both peers and senior colleagues were the most significant contributors to competency development. The subjects supported mentoring as an important strategy for public health nutrition workforce development and articulated the characteristics and models important for mentoring relationships in public health nutrition.

Conclusions

The present study suggests mentoring was an important part of competency development for advanced-level public health and community nutritionists in Australia. Mentoring programmes based on experiential learning may assist in developing public health nutrition workforce competence.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email claire.palermo@med.monash.edu.au

References

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Keywords

The role of mentoring in public health nutrition workforce development. Perspectives of advanced-level practitioners

  • Claire Palermo (a1) and Louise McCall (a2)

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