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Enhancing Clinical Supervision in a Medical Ward: An Action Plan


The medical ward of Hospital X offers non-surgical treatment and provides nursing care services to adult patients with various non-life-threatening conditions. The ward’s current clinical supervision (CS) strategies require further improvement, with special attention to supervisors’ communication-related knowledge. Establishing continuing professional development goals for those supervising medical interns and nurses will increase the chances of positive CS-related experiences and enable the supervised medical ward employees to learn in emotionally welcoming environments. Implementing team CS for the ward’s nursing staff will cause quality improvement by expanding CS pertaining to nurses beyond direct/indirect supervision during patient care activities. This action plan breaks both goals into smaller endeavors and specifies deadlines, actions, and responsible parties.

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Part 1: Additional Leadership Education for Nurse Supervisors and Physicians Providing CS

Action Step 1: Fostering Emotional Intelligence Skills in Clinical Supervisors

Apart from subject matter expertise and experience in the field, those providing CS should be evaluated with reference to diverse areas of emotional intelligence using the Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso EI test (MSCEIT). In line with the social learning theory, effective knowledge acquisition via CS requires supervisors to become positive role models that foster trust (King et al., 2020). By February 15, 2022, the hospital’s chief HR specialist will test physicians and nursing professionals involved in CS activities in the ward with the help of the MSCEIT tool. The HR specialist will analyze all respondents’ EI scores and submit a list of participants with below-average scores to the ward’s administration by February 18, 2022. In collaboration with psychology professionals, the ward’s management will design and approve a 3-hour EI development course for physicians and nurse supervisors by February 30, 2022. The course will be delivered online; each employee on the list will be e-mailed the link to the course and should complete it individually by March 15, 2022.

Action Step 2: Ensuring Supervising Professionals’ Active Listening Competencies

Working in interdisciplinary collaboration with psychologists, the ward’s management will create an educational handout on active listening skills (sharing, summarizing, clarifying, reflecting, and paying attention to one’s interlocutor) for clinical leaders. The printed materials will be disseminated among employees involved in CS tasks to be studied independently. After exploring this information, each leader will be motivated to engage in self-reflection and address a few self-assessment questions in the handout. The deadline for this step will be February 15, 2022.

Action Step 3: Promoting Leadership Styles’ Skilful Use

By February 16, 2022, the ward’s management will record a 1-hour lecture on leadership styles in supervisor-supervisee relationships. The rationale for this step is that supervisors’ inadequate understanding of the styles of leading is among the common reasons for supervisees’ dissatisfaction with the quality of CS (Lockwood, 2021). The lecture will cover autocratic, charismatic, democratic, participatory, and other approaches to leading and their implications for supervision in clinical contexts. All employees participating in CS tasks as supervisors will receive the link to the video via e-mail by February 18, 2022; they will be motivated to watch it during their free time.

Part 2: Incorporating Team CS (TCS) for Nurses: Stress Reduction and Ongoing Learning

Action Step 1: Increase the Nursing Workforce’s Awareness of TCS

The ward’s managerial team will appoint two nursing educators to bear responsibility for this step’s implementation. Using media tools, the educators will prepare a document outlining the TCS approach. Within the project’s frame, weekly 1-hour TCS sessions for the ward’s nursing workforce will be delivered by a trained mental health nurse and a nurse supervisor. Each group session will consist of a general discussion of the staff’s experiences during the week, including time devoted to clinical issues, the emotional stress of addressing patients’ needs, and collective problem-solving. By February 20, 2022, the responsible educators will disseminate a 1-page document explaining the TCS strategy among the nursing staff.

Action Step 2: Plan and Conduct Weekly TCS Sessions

Within the frame of this step, the educators responsible for the previous step will organize and schedule TCS sessions for the nursing staff. The required efforts are appointing a CS-trained mental health nurse and a qualified nurse supervisor to conduct TCS meetings and scheduling weekly meetings during shift changeovers to avoid disruptions to clinical processes. The responsible party will also prepare the staff meeting room for sessions, including providing a whiteboard, paper, and writing supplies. The first session will take place on February 28.

Action Step 3: Assess Staff Members’ Perspectives on the TCS Approach

After eight weekly TCS sessions, the responsible nurse educators will survey the participating nurses anonymously to clarify the need for changes to the process and make an informed decision regarding these sessions’ frequency. For this step, the educators will produce a 10-question survey that should measure sessions’ quality as perceived by supervisees and overall satisfaction with the received guidance and the produced schedule. The links to the survey will be e-mailed to the nursing staff by April 28, 2022; the analysis will be finished by May 10, 2022.

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The proposed plan will support Hospital X’s medical ward in propelling its approaches to CS to the next level by improving supervisors’ preparedness for offering ongoing support in an effective manner and incorporating team-based strategies. If implemented responsibly and without delays, the plan is anticipated to promote tangible improvements by May. Nevertheless, issues related to responsibility distribution, process planning, and efforts’ coordination can give rise to barriers to the plan’s timely completion, so extra control from the executive management will be beneficial during all stages.


King, C., Edlington, T., & Williams, B. (2020). The “ideal” clinical supervision environment in nursing and allied health. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 13, 187-196. Web.

Lockwood, W. (2021). Clinical supervision: Managing relationships, conflict, and resistance to change. Web.

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