Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nurse Educ Today. 2013 Oct;33(10):1252-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.08.017. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Nursing students' perceptions of clinical supervision: the contributions of preceptors, head preceptors and clinical lecturers.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden; Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden. Electronic address: mko@hig.se.



The aims of the study were 1) to investigate to what extent nursing students were satisfied with the supervision provided by facilitators (preceptor, head preceptor, and clinical lecturer), 2) to compare nursing students' ratings of facilitators' contribution to supervision as supportive and challenging, and 3) to examine relationships between facilitators' supportive and challenging behavior in supervision and nursing students' perception of fulfillment of expected learning outcomes in clinical education.


Although there are many studies on support of students in clinical education, few have addressed this from the students' point of view or made comparisons between different facilitators.


A cross-sectional survey study was conducted during April to November 2010, where 107 nursing students, from a university in central Sweden, answered a questionnaire about supervision immediately after their period of clinical education.


Supportive behavior in supervision was rated higher by students for all facilitator groups as compared with challenging behavior. The students rated preceptors and clinical lecturers as more supportive than head preceptors and clinical lecturers as providing more challenges than the two other facilitator groups. Supportive and challenging behavior in supervision explained 39% of the variance in students' overall learning outcomes. However, the regression coefficient was only significant for students' ratings of supportive behavior for the preceptor.


Nursing students were satisfied with facilitators' supervision and by their contribution to fulfillment of overall learning outcomes. Comparisons showed that preceptors in a higher degree were perceived as supportive while clinical lecturers were perceived as more important as challengers for critical thinking, reflection and exchange of experiences between students. The model of supervision seems to be promising, but the roles across facilitators need to be made clearer, especially the head preceptor's role, which seemed to be the most unclear role in this model.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Clinical education; Clinical lecturers; Head preceptors; Nursing students; Preceptors; Supervision

[PubMed - in process]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk