Forensic Mental Health Nurses' Experiences of Clinical Supervision

Publication Name

Journal of forensic nursing


BACKGROUND: Clinical supervision may support forensic mental health nurses with personal and professional growth in a work environment characterized by therapeutic, ethical, and practical challenges. AIM: The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of forensic mental health nurses participating in a clinical supervision program. METHODS: Seven forensic mental health nurses and two allied health professionals, working in a high-security forensic mental health hospital, were interviewed regarding their experiences of participating in a clinical supervision program. FINDINGS: Participants expressed a need for clinical supervision and were motivated to participate in the program. Benefits of clinical supervision experienced by participants included improved communication with their colleagues, being supported in their career development, and developing habits and techniques to reflect on practice issues. Participants described being able to connect with their supervisor, enabled by both trust and confidence in the supervisor's expertise. CONCLUSION: Staff showed engagement in the clinical supervision process and expressed experiencing positive outcomes related to personal and professional growth and development. IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL FORENSIC NURSING PRACTICE: To support nurses with the forensic mental health context-specific challenges they face, organizations should enable and promote access to clinical supervision. Considerations for forensic mental health organizations to increase uptake and effectiveness of clinical supervision include use of externally based clinical supervisors with adequate skills and experience with providing clinical supervision to clinical staff who work in a secure environment.

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