• development;
  • nurse;
  • nursing education;
  • nursing students;
  • phenomenograhy;
  • process-oriented supervision

Aim  To describe the variation in how nurses conceive process-oriented group supervision, implemented during nursing education, 1 year after their nursing degree.

Background  Process-oriented group supervision can be an effective support system for helping nursing students and nurses to reflect on their activities.

Methods  A descriptive qualitative design was chosen for the study. Conceptions were collected through interviews with 18 strategically selected Swedish nurses in 2005.

Results  Three descriptive categories comprising seven conceptions were emerged. Supportive actions comprised: a sense of security, belonging and encouragement. Learning actions involved: sharing and reflecting while developmental actions described: enabling professional identity and facilitating personal development.

Conclusions  Process-oriented group supervision has a lasting influence on nurses’ development. The possibility to reflect over new stances during nursing education was a prerequisite for the provision of high-quality care. Process-oriented group supervision can make an important contribution to nursing education.

Implications for Nursing Management  Process-oriented group supervision provides nurses with the strength to achieve resilience to stress in their work. It may lead to autonomy as well as clarity in the nurse’s professional function. This indicates the need for nurse managers to organize reflective group supervision as an integral part of the nurse’s work.