Supporting Nursing Leadership by the Implementation of an increased Supervisory Role

Jean Rankin, Clare McGuire, Lynsay Matthews, Margot Russell, Devashish Ray


Clinical nurse leadership is essential for the provision of high quality patient care. Recent research has highlighted the need for all Senior Charge Nurses (SCNs) to be equipped to deliver effective ward management, staff development and ultimately a positive patient experience. The provision of ‘supervisory hours’ is a vital component of an SCN role, enabling the effective leadership of their teams. This paper describes the increased supervisory role implemented by the Leading Better Care program within one Health Board area of Scotland. Mixed methods research (online survey n=52 and in-depth qualitative interviews n=12) explored the experiences of SCNs using their increased supervisory time and its perceived impact on clinical practice. Findings demonstrate that increased supervisory time positively impacted several key areas of clinical practice. Although the increased supervisory role empowered SCNs and promoted their professional development, they require greater role clarity, managerial support and leadership development to reduce role stress and promote future career aspirations.


Nursing Leadership; Supervisory Role; Senior Nurses; Workforce Planning.

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