The ultimate measure for better quality and work environment among nurses

Work environment and quality are important topics that people often downgrade when they have little time. There are competing tasks that make it difficult to prioritize and express focus on development and the future. Nevertheless, it is important to maintain the quality of the services, especially when it comes to people’s health. The nurses have long been under time pressure. There are fewer nurses to perform the tasks and many many experience burnout after the pandemic. In such a situation, the work environment becomes increasingly important. At the same time as the pandemic is calming down, the focus is now on raising the quality of services.


Supervision as a measure to raise quality and work environment

Bergland, Kristiansen, and Hestetun (2003) found in their study that supervision can contribute to improving the environment. They also found that it can develop quality in the service. The authors write about experiences gained at wards at a nursing home in Oslo. They tried out supervision as a measure. The supervision in the study is part of a larger project.


When the authors talk about a better work environment and quality, they highlight several aspects. Among other things, they point out that nurses are better at acting within the framework they have when they are in demanding situations. They are more solution-oriented. One can interpret it so that it is natural to focus on little resources and little time when things are difficult at work. Furthermore, it can be seen that reflection and conversation with a colleague can help find solutions and act differently even if you have the same challenging framework around you. The authors found that the nurses discussed how to get to work in the circumstances they have.


Bergland, Kristiansen, and Hestetun (2003) also point out that guidance contributed to the nurses gaining a greater understanding of the whole of the ward and about the patients. When you work without stopping to reflect, you can easily be focused on what you are doing. If you have little time, it is natural to focus on your patients and work tasks. By reflecting on practice with colleagues, one can look up. You may notice that Astrid has extra to do today so you ask if she needs help before you go on break.



What it takes to get good supervision

Some people may have prejudices against supervision because they have not done it properly before. Supervision requires planning and execution. Therefore, you may want to learn from others who have done it before. Bergland, Kristiansen, and Hestetun (2003) refer to what they experience as success criteria and challenges in supervision.


Time is a challenge they point out, and they are not the only ones who have pointed to this type of challenge. What is interesting in their case is that they describe a bit about how they handled it. It can be seen as a success criterion to get good supervision. The authors pointed out that it is difficult to set aside time for and to find the right time. Nevertheless, they managed to get supervision to become a natural part of everyday life. The way they did this was to work with attitudes.


The authors write that they worked with attitudes about why it is important to spend time on supervision. It is clear that when you choose to prioritize something on a busy day, you have to see the benefit yourself. Even if you understand the benefit of supervision, it may take some time for your colleague or manager to understand the benefit. The authors also refer to leadership anchoring. Leaders must help find room for supervision and they must explain why supervision is important. Read 3 tips to create motivation for supervision among employees.


Structure and discussion

Bergland, Kristiansen, and Hestetun (2003) also point out plan, structure, and external help as important factors in obtaining good supervision. In their case, the external supervisor helped set up a structure. In supervision, the structure can be about the individual supervision hour, what is talked about in supervision and how to talk about it. The structure can also be about planning: when who, what, and how.


The authors refer to the importance of discussion and discussion in supervision. By putting together employees who have different experience and professional backgrounds, they can see their work situation from other perspectives and see other solutions. They show that it is important to set aside time to discuss different procedures. In supervision, time and space are set aside to raise issues before there is a major conflict. In conclusion, they point out that raising the employees’ competence raises the quality of the nursing home.



Bergland, Å., Hestetun, M., & Kristiansen, M. (2003). Erfaringer med avdelingsvis  veiledning. Tidsskrift Sykepleien18, 46-48. Link: 

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