PIH Nightingale Fellows Viola Karanja, of Liberia, left, and Angeline Charles, right, round with Nadia Raymond at BWH.

With 20 years of critical care nursing and leadership experience, Nurse Administrator Nadia Raymond, MSN, MHA, RN, is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise by mentoring others. Raymond also has worked closely with Partners In Health (PIH), which has a strong connection to BWH, and other organizations to provide continuing education to nurses in her native country of Haiti.

When PIH leaders were seeking mentors to work with nurse executives around the world through its Nightingale Fellowship program, Raymond was a natural fit. PIH paired her with Angeline Charles, operating room nurse manager at University Hospital in Mirebalais (HUM), for the year-long program.

Raymond spoke with Heart & Science about her experience with the program, how to be an effective mentor and the influence nurses can have on global health.

How frequently did you and Angeline communicate and in what capacity?

NR: I remained open to whatever Angeline’s needs were, and we connected via phone biweekly – sometimes weekly or even more often, depending on what was going on in her professional environment. Any time Angeline visited Boston or I visited Haiti, we made it a point to connect as well.

On what kind of issues did Angeline seek your guidance?
NR: As Angeline was initiating and implementing plans to organize the OR at HUM, she asked me for guidance on improving communication, building relationships and empowering others. Later, she asked for guidance on rolling out the plan and measuring the outcome.

I advised her to keep the patient at the center throughout the process, modify the plan as things evolved, keep the lines of communication open with staff, check in with team members often and celebrate successes.

What other advice did you share, based on your experience as a nurse leader and your knowledge of patient care in Haiti?
NR: Drawing from our Magnet core principles, I shared with her the value of being an authentic and transformational leader. In my role at the Brigham, for example, I always ask: What is my role in moving something forward and making it better?

I also talked with her about developing a strong sense of self, being a life-long learner, validating others and creating and sustaining relationships. At the core of it all are the non-negotiables: life principle, values, paying it forward and gratitude.

What did you learn from this experience?
NR: A mentoring relationship is a two-way street, and my time with Angeline was genuinely beneficial. As a mentor, I gained a deeper understanding of people. Participating in the program refreshed my skills and helped me to look at things from a new perspective and continually learn from others.

I also learned the importance of resilience and perseverance. Angeline is one of many nurses around the world striving to find their voice, elevate nursing and improve care delivery in a resource-poor setting. The fellowship and mentorship component provided a supplement to the strength Angeline already brought to the table to help her through challenges she faces every day.

I value our BWH community, our interdisciplinary collaboration and the mutual respect between disciplines. This experience gave me a new perspective on what we are doing well as a community and what we need to improve upon. I also have a renewed sense of gratitude for past and current mentors who have shaped my professional development.

What makes an effective mentoring relationship?
NR: Mentors need to be open to guiding and supporting others through their journey. They must recognize that most people seek out someone whom they can relate to, a person who shares their goals and has some understanding of their journey.

A mentor is committed to the growth journey, through the ups and downs of the mentee’s experience, and helps them navigate outside of their comfort zone to make something extraordinary happen. A great mentor attempts to get you to see things from a new perspective, builds your confidence and helps you have greater clarity to move forward successfully.
Being a mentor is the most beautiful way of paying it forward by guiding others and, in the process, honoring those who have guided us along the way.

What advice do you have for nurses who wish to become involved in global health work?
NR: Nurses are incredibly capable of bringing about the necessary changes to meet the needs of health nationally and globally. If you wish to become involved in global health nursing, do some research and educate yourself. Search for national or international volunteer opportunities, find fellowships that allow you to immerse yourself in another culture and become involved in opportunities the Brigham offers for global health nursing. PIH and SEED International are also excellent resources.