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RCN congress rejects call to oppose clinical supervision by non-nurses

‘Siloed thinking would mean nurses miss out on valuable expertise’

Siloed thinking would mean nurses miss out on valuable expertise – speaker argues


Philip Cole proposed the motion. Picture: John Houlihan

RCN members have rejected a call to challenge organisations that give other professions responsibility for nurses’ clinical supervision.

Supporters of the resolution told the college's congress in Liverpool on Tuesday that some employers were 'penny pinching' by forgoing nurse-led clinical supervision.

But concerns were raised about ‘siloed’ thinking, and the nature of the resolution's wording.

‘Nurse-led clinical supervision are being eroded’

Proposer Philip Cole of Birmingham West and Sandwell RCN branch said benefits of nurse-led clinical supervision, such as promotion of critical reflection and emotional well-being in a confidential space, were being lost.

‘These benefits have been eroded by healthcare providers striving for cost efficiencies and the need to demonstrate compliance to regulators,’ he said.

Mr Cole said other professions, such as psychologists, were instead supervising nurses in groups.

‘More disturbingly, nurse managers who establish group supervision for their teams are allowing healthcare professionals other than nurses to provide the supervision,’ he added. ‘Psychologists bring a different perspective, they can’t be expected to understand the demands on our profession.’


Gail Brooks: the identity of nursing is at stake. Picture: John Houlihan

Gail Brooks, who seconded the resolution, urged: ‘We need to make sure we do not lose our identity and state what we want and that is "nurses for nurses".'

Learning from fellow professionals


Linda Bailey: ‘We should be thanking these professionals, not rejecting them’. Picture: John Houlihan

But speaker Linda Bailey argued she had benefited from the wisdom of other professionals in her public health career. She added the process was particularly important for advanced nurse practitioners.

‘This is about professionals in your field of practice sharing their clinical expertise through the supervision process,’ she said. ‘We should be thanking them, not rejecting them.’

She urged the hall to reject the resolution, calling it ‘siloed thinking’.

Read all the latest from RCN congress here 


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