Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Schools and Centres

Nursing and Midwifery

First Supervisor

Selma Alliex

Second Supervisor

Heather Gluyus


Nursing students’ clinical placements should provide an environment in which they can apply their nursing education in the fast-paced world of health care and develop a framework for practice. Students rely on effective teaching and supportive clinical supervisors to provide a placement in which they are not only encouraged to practice, but also to learn from this practice. This is achieved through welcoming students into the health care team by valuing their input and contributions, and consolidating their clinical practice through activities such as critical thinking and reflection.

The role of the clinical supervisor is therefore complex and often constrained by time because of the need to prioritise patient care. The role is also distant to that of providing clinical care; therefore, staff require specific education and guidance to understand and implement the role’s requirements.

This research aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a new education program for nursing staff. This process was guided by the current literature in relation to the role of the clinical supervisor, the theories and principles of adult learning, and the theories of attitude and attitude change.

The effect of the program was determined using a descriptive methodology involving the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data using a triangulation approach. This involved the use of pre- and post-program attendance (on the day and after eight weeks) knowledge and attitude surveys, online reflective statements for up to eight weeks after attending the program, and individual interviews.

Analysis of the data determined that participants improved both their knowledge and attitude towards students and clinical supervision. Participants viewed the program as a positive strategy for improving their attitude towards students and student clinical supervision, while also being supported with realistic strategies for promoting a welcoming environment conducive to student learning. Participants also articulated their concerns related to perceived organisational barriers to providing effective clinical supervision.

There are multiple implications of this research. The Clinical Supervision Program (CSP) for Registered Nurses is confirmed as a strategy for providing effective education for nurses involved in the role of clinical supervision. The study also articulates the importance of health care facilities and education providers in ensuring ongoing support and recognition of the role, as well as facilitating a workplace that is supportive of student placements.

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Nursing Commons