A Comparison of North American and European Conceptualizations of Clinical Supervision

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Examination of the extant North American and European substantive literature indicates two differing conceptualizations of the purpose and resultant practice of clinical supervision (CS). The North American conceptualization creates the need for all supervisors to be more “expert” in the particular speciality of nursing than the supervisee, and this paper explores some of the hitherto unanswered issues arising from this. The European conceptualization posits supervision as a forum for considering the personal, interpersonal, and clinical aspects of care so as to develop and maintain nurses who are skilled and reflective practitioners. This situation creates the need for supervisors to be effective at supporting nurses in self-monitoring, identifying difficulties in practice, and finding the proper place to make good the deficit, not necessarily to be more expert in the particular nursing speciality.


To acquire a personal use copy of this work, contact John Cutcliffe at john.cutcliffe@wright.edu.