Upward feedback in nursing: A matter of giving, taking and asking

B F H van de Walle-van de Geijn, D Joosten-Ten Brinke, T P F M Klaassen, A C van Tuijl, C R M G Fluit

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The educational program for nurses takes place in school and at the workplace. At the workplace, student nurses and their supervisors work together while providing the best care for their patients. In this context, it is important that both, students and supervisors, provide feedback to each other. However, it can be difficult for nursing students to provide feedback to professionals who are higher up in the hierarchy. The goal of this study is to investigate the factors that facilitate nursing students to provide so-called upward feedback and nursing supervisors to receive it. Seven focus groups of nursing students (n = 40) and two focus groups of nursing supervisors (n = 12) were organized. The qualitative data analyses of the focus group interviews and a literature study show that a feedback-friendly culture is essential in enabling upward feedback. The following aspects contribute to a feedback-friendly culture: (1) the role of the feedback receiver, (2) the role of the feedback provider, (3) relations between feedback receivers and providers and (4) the context. This study shows that nursing students and supervisors are open to provide and receive upward feedback. However more attention is needed in nursing education for the factors that facilitate this process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102792
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


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