School of Nursing institutes mentoring program


The Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences established a new mentoring program designed to ease the transition for first-year nursing majors.

Twenty-nine junior and senior nursing students have applied and been accepted as mentors for first-year students seeking guidance during their first year of nursing school. 

Justin Gerstenberger, an academic adviser in the Harris College, said he organized the program to address an issue many first year-students deal with: Stress.

“[Students] are being taught how to save lives,” he said. “And so that is not taken very lightly. I think that that puts a lot of stress on students.” 

Carson Anderson is a junior nursing major and one of the program’s mentors. 

“I clearly remember what it was like to arrive on TCU's campus as a freshman, completely afraid of what was ahead of me,” Anderson said. 

Gerstenberger said other upperclassmen she had spoken to wished a similar program had been in place when they were freshman. It would have eased their transition into the nursing school.

Mentors are required to meet with their students at least three times during the semester, one of which must be conducted in person.

Emily Biggio, a first-year nursing major who sought out a mentor, said she was seeking someone who had experienced first-year nursing classes at the university and could provide tips about navigating her first semester.

Many mentors chose to attend the first-year welcome dinner for nursing students so they could begin to feel comfortable with one another, Gerstenberger said. 

Biggio said her mentor often checks in on her to ensure she is doing well in her classes. 

She said she looks forward to the time when she can be a mentor in the program and help a younger student in the same way she has been helped.