Clinical supervision involves a supportive relationship between supervisor and supervisee that facilitates reflective learning and is part of professional socialisation. Clinical supervision can take many different forms and may be adapted to suit local circumstances. A working agreement is required between the parties to the supervision and issues surrounding confidentiality must be understood. High-quality clinical supervision leads to greater job satisfaction and less stress. When it is absent or inadequate, however, the results can be serious and it is particularly important that student nurses are well supported in this way. Further research in this area is necessary.