Advanced practice and clinical supervision: An exploration of perceived facilitators and barriers in practice

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim and Objectives

The aim of this study was to investigate current advanced practice Masters students’ experience of clinical supervision, to explore how clinical supervision works in practice and to identify students’ perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to clinical supervision in their workplace.


Advanced practitioners, and in particular nurses, play a pivotal role in delivering health care across acute and primary care settings. These non-medical professionals fulfil a rapidly expanding proportion of roles traditionally undertaken by medically qualified staff within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and often lead specialist clinics and services. To prepare for the advanced practice role, individuals are required to undertake a Master's in advanced practice to develop the required skills and knowledge and work in clinical practice with a clinical assessor/supervisor to demonstrate competence and performance.


A mixed method study using an online descriptive cross-sectional survey and qualitative data were collected via focus groups and has been reported using the Good Reporting of a Mixed Methods Study checklist.


A total of 79 students completed the online survey (from 145 AP students), a response rate of 55%. Most respondents were nurses (n = 73) with 49 (62%) in a formal advanced practice trainee role, and the majority believed their clinical supervisor had a good understanding of advanced practice and the advanced practice role. Two focus groups were held with 16 participants in total. Thematic analysis revealed five themes: (a) perceived level and amount of support from clinical supervisors, (b) skill level of clinical supervisors, (c) physicians and their perceptions on supervising, Advanced practitioners (d) clinical supervisors’ preparation for the role and (e) transition from trainee to qualified advanced practitioner.


The survey revealed that advanced practitioner students perceived that clinical supervisors and workplace colleagues had a good understanding of the advanced practice role with good levels of support in practice. A more coherent approach is required for clinical supervision and an implementation framework that can be formally evaluated.

Relevance to clinical practice

Several significant barriers to clinical supervision for advanced practitioner students were identified, and there are currently more barriers (including COVID-19) than facilitators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022


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