Roles and responsibilities of practice supervisors

Practice supervisors:

  • Are typically employed by practice experience providers, who offer learning opportunities to students of nursing
  • Have expertise in the client group and the focus of practice within their particular practice areas
  • Are available to students in all practice learning environments both within and outside of the students’ core practice-base
  • Are responsible for supervising students and facilitating their learning in complementary/ contrasting practice learning opportunities, ensuring that the student practises within the organisation’s local policies and guidelines
  • Are responsible for feeding back on student performance and achievements to the student’s core practice-base mentor
  • Are responsible for feeding back any concerns about student attendance, conduct, performance or progression to the student’s core practice-base mentor.

Practice supervisors do not necessarily have to be registered nurses to undertake this role. For example, an adult nursing student gaining experience in an operating department might have a qualified operating department practitioner as a practice supervisor. Neither do practice supervisors have to be registered nurses in the same field of practice as the student. For example, a mental health nursing student gaining experience with a Drug and Alcohol Team might have an adult registered nurse as a practice supervisor.

However, if a student requires summative assessment against the NMC competencies during a complementary practice experience, then a mentor who meets the NMC mentor standard (NMC 2008) must be identified to support the student. (You can review the NMC criteria for this standard by reading Section 2.1.1. on page 21 (pdf)).

Next section: Roles and responsibilities of the Practice Tutor

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