The NMC has written a letter to universities underlining that clinical supervision can be counted as part of practice hours for student nurses and midwives.
The letter, sent to universities earlier this month from NMC director of professional practice Professor Geraldine Walters and seen by Nursing in Practice, referred to ‘recent confusion regarding the implementation of clinical supervision in practice learning’.
But it clarified that it expects placement providers to ‘have the capacity and capability’ to provide clinical supervision and assess students where relevant. It also encouraged higher education institutions to support placement providers ‘in providing and implementing opportunities’.
The letter continued: ‘These opportunities for such clinical supervision will continue to ensure that students graduate with the right skills, knowledge and capabilities to not only join our register, but enable them to work effectively in multi-professional environments for the future.’
It also pointed to Future Nurse standards that say nurses should be able to contribute to supervision and team reflection at the point of registration, as well as Future Midwife standards that require the same of registered midwives.
In addition, its own education standards framework says students must ‘have opportunities throughout their programme to collaborate and learn with and from other professionals, to learn with and from peers, and to develop supervision and leadership skills’.
In a separate statement, Professor Walters said the NMC’s standards ‘require professionals to be able to experience, contribute, and develop the skills to lead clinical supervision and team reflection in their future careers’.
She continued: ‘To do this, it’s important for them to take part in clinical supervision during their practice placements as part of their learning, and of course, it’s also beneficial for their own health and wellbeing.
‘We wanted to reinforce and emphasise this, because the impact of the pandemic means that supportive clinical supervision has never been more important for professionals and students alike.’