Practice supervisor preparation
All nurses, midwives and nursing associates should be capable of fulfilling a practice supervisor role, as is set out in the NMC Code and the proficiency standards.
Supporting and supervising students and junior colleagues is an important part of many professionals’ roles as expected by not just regulators but employers too. While a practice supervisor may need to be ‘prepared’ in some way before supervising students, this preparation can be done in a number of different ways and does not have to be limited to a formal preparatory course.
The preparation required will differ depending on the student they are supporting and the programme they are on. Many practice supervisors will be highly trained and experienced in supervising and supporting students, and in some cases a practice supervisor may not need any additional preparation, as long as they understand the outcomes that the student is aiming to achieve.
The practice supervisor should draw upon their own previous and current experience, scope of practice, education and training to support student supervision. They should also be able to think about how they may want and need to develop their skills, if needed, through additional training. For nurses, midwives and nursing associates who are practice supervisors this can mean, amongst other things, reflecting on their role in student learning and assessment when they revalidate.
Support, education or training for practice supervisors should be tailored to the practice supervisor’s previous education and experience; it should also take into account the programme outcomes and proficiencies that the student is seeking to achieve in that practice learning experience. Previous experience can include any formal training courses, including those completed by registered professionals who are not nurses, midwives or nursing associates, and ‘on the job’ training.
Since practice supervisors support a specific segment of the student learning journey there is no expectation for them to have in-depth understanding of all the programme outcomes. They should have enough breadth and depth of understanding of what the student is trying to achieve to be able to supervise the student; they should also bear in mind the stage of learning and the specific learning needs of the student.
The AEI, with its practice learning partners, is responsible for making sure the right support, education or training is provided.to practice supervisors They should be able to give evidence that the preparation upholds public protection and enables practice supervisors to support students to meet their programme outcomes and our standards. More information on their responsibilities can be found within the NMC’s Quality assurance framework.
Relevant NMC standards for this section
R4.3: receive relevant induction, ongoing support and access to education
and training which includes training in equality and diversity
4.4: ensure practice supervisors:
4.4.1: have undertaken a period of preceptorship in line with the NMC
principles for preceptorship as SCPHN or community nursing SPQ
qualified professionals or
4.4.2: can evidence prior learning and relevant practice supervisor
experience that enables them to facilitate effective evidencebased learning opportunities for post-registration SCPHN or
community nursing SPQ students