Challenges encountered by professional nurses during supervision of care: An explorative study in Vhembe District Hospitals in Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • Munyadziwa Regina Raliphaswa
  • Takalani Rhoda Luhalima
  • Vhonani Olive Netshandama


This study explored the challenges of professional nurses during supervision of care in the district hospitals of Vhembe. Supervision is a yardstick for quality assurance and patient safety. Professional nurses supervise the care that is rendered to ensure quality patient care and patient safety. Nevertheless, complaints from patients about the poor quality of care suggests that supervision is not being effectively done. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive, and contextual research design was used to describe the challenges encountered by professional nurses during supervision of care in the Vhembe District Hospitals. An individual semi-structured interview using an interview guide was conducted with one second in charge and one specialty professional nurse working in casualty, medical and paediatric wards. In total, thirty-six professional nurses were interviewed. Data was analysed through Tesch’s eight steps. Trustworthiness was ensured by adhering to the principles of credibility, dependability, confirmability, transferability, and authenticity. Ethical measures were observed throughout the study to maintain participants’ dignity and to ensure the quality of research. The findings revealed multiple challenges that professional nurses encounter during the supervision of care. The main themes found were lack of resources, challenges related to the supervisees, cultural changes in nursing affecting supervision, and challenges related to education and training. The researchers recommend that the nursing practice through the Department of Health should address the lack of resources and poor infrastructure. The nursing education directorate should address the challenge of student accompaniment and clinical exposure.


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eISSN: 1596-9231