To take responsibility or to be an onlooker. Nursing students' experiences of two models of supervision

Nurse Educ Today. 2012 Jan;32(1):105-10. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 Mar 8.


Aim: The present study aimed at describing how nursing students engaged in their clinical practice experienced two models of supervision: supervision on student wards and traditional supervision.

Background: Supervision for nursing students in clinical practice can be organized in different ways. In the present study, parts of nursing students' clinical practice were carried out on student wards in existing hospital departments. The purpose was to give students the opportunity to assume greater responsibility for their clinical education and to apply the nursing process more independently through peer learning.

Method: A descriptive design with a qualitative approach was used. Interviews were carried out with eight nursing students in their final semester of a 3-year degree program in nursing. The data were analyzed using content analysis.

Findings: Two themes were revealed in the data analysis: When supervised on the student wards, nursing students experienced assuming responsibility and finding one's professional role, while during traditional supervision, they experienced being an onlooker and having difficulties assuming responsibility.

Conclusions: Supervision on a student ward was found to give nursing students a feeling of acknowledgment and more opportunities to develop independence, continuity, cooperation and confidence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Models, Educational
  • Models, Nursing
  • Peer Group*
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Qualitative Research
  • Schools, Nursing
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Young Adult