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Principles for Student Supervision during clinical placement.

Principles for Student Supervision during clinical placement.

by Helen Hughes -
Number of replies: 2

Good Afternoon

I am involved in developing guiding principles for nurses and midwives working with students.  If you have any documents that your organisation use to support the development of a culture supportive of students and I happy to share I would be very grateful.  I am also interested in looking at reasons nurses and midwives avoid working with students. Thanking you in advance for any assistance you can provide.


Helen Hughes

Advanced Nurse Educator, Rural Support Service, South Australia.

In reply to Helen Hughes

Re: Principles for Student Supervision during clinical placement.

by Dianne Stratton-Maher -

Hello Helen

Student's need to feel a sense of belonging when on placements. Here are some guiding principles for RN's:

  1. Create a Supportive Environment: Foster an atmosphere of encouragement and support where students feel safe to ask questions, seek guidance, and make mistakes as part of the learning process.

  2. Lead by Example: Demonstrate professionalism, empathy, and ethical practice in all interactions with patients, families, and colleagues, serving as a role model for students to emulate.

  3. Encourage Active Participation: Encourage students to actively engage in patient care activities under appropriate supervision, empowering them to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings.

  4. Provide Constructive Feedback: Offer timely, specific, and constructive feedback to help students identify areas for improvement and build upon their strengths.

  5. Promote Critical Thinking: Encourage students to critically analyse situations, make evidence-based decisions, and reflect on their experiences to enhance learning and professional growth.

  6. Facilitate Exposure to Diverse Experiences: Provide opportunities for students to work with patients across diverse populations and healthcare settings to broaden their perspective and enhance cultural competency.

  7. Ensure Patient Safety: Prioritise patient safety at all times, emphasising the importance of adhering to established protocols, maintaining infection control measures, and advocating for patients' well-being.

  8. Support Professional Development: Assist students in setting goals, identifying learning needs, and pursuing ongoing professional development opportunities to further their competence and confidence as future nurses.

  9. Promote Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Communication: Emphasise the importance of effective teamwork, interdisciplinary collaboration, and clear communication in delivering high-quality patient care.

  10. Cultivate a Culture of Lifelong Learning: Instill a passion for lifelong learning and continuous improvement, encouraging students to stay abreast of emerging evidence, best practices, and advancements in healthcare while on clinical placements.

This article is an interesting read (although a little dated) Lapeña-Moñux, Y. R., Cibanal-Juan, L., Orts-Cortés, M. I., Maciá-Soler, M. L., & Palacios-Ceña, D. (2016). Nurses' experiences working with nursing students in a hospital: a phenomenological enquiry. Revista latino-americana de enfermagem24, e2788. 

Dr Dianne Stratton-Maher

Nursing lecturer: University of Southern Queensland

In reply to Dianne Stratton-Maher

Re: Principles for Student Supervision during clinical placement.

by Helen Hughes -

Thanks Dianne - this is very helpful!