Background: Increasing health professional student numbers in Australia, in response to looming predicted workforce shortages, resulted in a Federal Government call for action to provide clinical supervision education to health professionals.

Objectives: This research aimed to develop, implement and evaluate the programme, ‘The Art of Clinical Supervision’ (ACS), designed to support nurses facilitate a positive learning environment for student nurses.

Method: The ACS programme was presented (n = 199) across Western Australia as a doctoral study, with participants from both the public and private healthcare sector working in a variety of specialties. A triangulation approach of surveys, reflective entries and interviews was utilised to determine its impact.

Results: The data indicated that participants improved their understanding of supervision and attitude towards students and supervision after attending the ACS.

Conclusions: Health service managers are encouraged to evaluate their staffs’ knowledge and attitude towards students with findings used to facilitate a positive learning culture.

Impact Statement: The Art of Clinical Supervision The purpose of the research was to develop, implement and review a new education programme that could support the development of clinical supervision knowledge and attitude to support student nurse learning. This occurred in an environment of increased student numbers as a strategy to correct a predicted looming workforce shortage. The study findings determined that the programme improved both participant knowledge about how to provide effective clinical supervision (teaching) in the clinical environment, and improved staff attitudes towards students and their place as a learner in the clinical areas. The type of impact was therefore within the domain of quality by improving student learning through effective education strategy. As a result of the doctoral research, involving 200 participants, a Federal Government grant of approx. $500,000 was received to facilitate the training of additional educators to provide the programme across the state of Western Australia. This grant was a partnership between the programme author (researcher) and the Western Australian Government Department of Health. This involved four educators presenting the programme to over 3,000 health professionals in a 3-year period. Despite the cessation of funds with the closure of HWA the programme continues to be delivered through The University of Notre Dame Australia School of Nursing and Midwifery, with only a cost recovery charge.


students, Western Australia, nurses, attitude of health personnel

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