The student experience of clinical supervision across health disciplines – Perspectives and remedies to enhance clinical placement

Anthony (Tony) O'Brien, Karen McNeil, Amanda Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Effective clinical practice supervision for health students is essential prior to commencing their respective professions. Students require adequate preparation before their clinical practice event with an experienced clinical supervisor able to impart professional ‘know how’ and skills to students. The purpose of this study was to describe final year health students’ perspectives and experiences of clinical supervision, and to develop an interprofessional model of clinical supervision. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted with undergraduate health students across a range of disciplines. Some students provided email comments. Qualitative data was analysed thematically using NVivo (V11). Six key themes and their various sub-themes (refer Table 1) were identified: (1) undergraduate learning valued by the CP provider; (2) effective connections (communications) between student, CS, CP provider and university; (3) undergraduate student learning not being valued; (4) ineffective connections; (5) mitigating factors for students; and (6) the impact of increasing student numbers. Undergraduate health student clinical placement requires careful educational preparation, structuring and adequate support for both the student undergoing the practice event and for the clinical supervisor stewarding the undergraduate health professional. A prospective plan to ensure an excellent experience is required (Fig. 1).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical competence
  • Clinical supervision
  • Education
  • Health sciences
  • Teaching methods

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