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J Adv Nurs. 2001 Jan;33(2):216-24.

Clinical supervision and support for nurses: an evaluation study.

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  • 1Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, Lincolnshire, UK.



To assess the effects of clinical supervision and informal support on qualified nurses.


Earlier small-scale research studies have provided conflicting evidence about the impact of clinical supervision, hence the need for this larger-scale study.


Survey design drawing on an opportunity sample of 211 qualified nurses from 11 randomly selected hospital and community NHS Trusts in one region in England. Quantitative data collection used the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Nursing in Context Questionnaire (NICQ), while qualitative data were based on written critical incidents. The analysis compared supervized with unsupervized nurses.


The critical incident analysis revealed that supervized nurses continued to use informal support networks as well as their supervision sessions to discuss clinical issues. The MBI found no significant differences in levels of burnout between supervized and unsupervized nurses. However, the NCIQ detected some statistically significant differences, with supervized nurses reporting a more listening and supportive management, coping better at work and feeling that they had better access to support than unsupervized nurses. Closer analysis found that this positive finding was particularly strong among the more junior supervized nurses.


Where resources are limited, it is better to concentrate on providing clinical supervision to more junior grades of nurses as a valued form of support during their early years as qualified practitioners.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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