A series of twenty-six interviews, fourteen with district nursing sisters and twelve with students they supervised, was conducted in 1992 in one Project 2000 demonstration district in England. The data were collected as part of an English National Board funded research study ; data were reinterpreted in 1994 and formed one element in the author's PhD thesis. Participants described the ways in which a supervisor might enable a student to learn during a community placement. One of the most important means by which supervisors could provide assistance was by creating an environment in which the students felt supported. Students described how supervisors demonstrated concern, acceptance and understanding, attributes which bore striking resemblance to the qualities of congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding identified by Carl Rogers as enabling learning.