This paper discusses as study of mentoring and its relationship to nursing academics' scholarly productivity. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to explore participants' experiences of mentoring and scholarship. Although all participants were well aware of the need to increase levels of scholarship, few had experienced the role modelling, guidance and leadership to assist them in meeting the expectations of the tertiary environment. While quality mentoring was viewed as a productive facilitator to improving levels of scholarly productivity, a supportive work environment with strong academic leadership was also considered an essential element in developing scholarship. Mentoring alone was considered unlikely to ameliorate any institutional issues, but rather, comprised one of a number of strategies. The picture that emerged from the study illustrates a discipline in transition in which a culture of mentoring is not well established, one that requires change not only within the discipline, but within tertiary institutions.