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  • In 2021, NHS England launched a professional nurse advocate (PNA) scheme, to try and support the recovery of the nursing workforce in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • PNAs are qualified, practising nurses, trained to lead and support nurses in practice by delivering training and facilitating restorative clinical supervision.

  • All GPNs working in North Central London can now access confidential, restorative clinical supervision sessions delivered by a network of PNAs.

What is Restorative Clinical Supervision?

Restorative Supervision is designed to support the needs of professionals working with clinical caseloads and/or in roles which demand they be clear thinking and able to process information quickly and accurately in order to make decisions.

Restorative Clinical Supervision sessions are delivered by trained Professional Nurse Advocates.

Traditional vs restorative supervision

Traditional models of supervision tend to emphasise on the content of the work being undertaken rather than on the practitioner delivering the care. This often means that a managerial approach is taken through the use of checklists and targets for the supervisory space and the practitioner suspends their own autonomous decision making.

Restorative Supervision focuses on the practitioner and their own capacity to think and make decisions. It helps the practitioner reflect on their own contribution to the situations they find themselves faced with and aid clarity of thought. It contains elements of psychological techniques including listening, supporting and challenging the supervisee to improve their capacity to cope, especially in managing difficult and stressful situations. The model allows the practitioner to process their emotional reaction to their work events.


Restorative Clinical Supervision (RCS) has been shown to:

  • Have a positive impact on the immediate wellbeing of staff

  • Staff feeling ‘valued’ by their employers for investing in them and their wellbeing

  • A significant reduction in stress

  • A significant reduction in burnout

  • Staff receiving RCS demonstrated an improvement in their compassion satisfaction- the pleasure one derives from doing their job.

  • Improve the retention of staff in the group receiving RCS

  • Over half the staff surveyed felt they functioned better as a result of receiving RCS

  • Reduce stress levels whilst maintaining compassion

  • Improve working relationships and team dynamics

  • Help staff to manage work/life balance more effectively

  • Increase enjoyment and satisfaction related to work

(Petit & Stephen 2015)

Source: Restorative Clinical Supervision (

What is a PNA?

Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) is a new role for nurses who have undergone a level 7 training programme that equips them to lead, support, advocate and deliver improvement to patient care and support the development, health, and wellbeing of nurses.

It provides them with the skills, competencies and confidence to lead programmes of improvement, fostering a culture of learning and development within their clinical settings, and to facilitate Restorative Clinical Supervision (RCS). To do that, they to deploy the A-EQUIP (Advocating & Educating for Quality Improvement) model of clinical supervision for registered nurses.

What support is available?

The support offered by PNAs contains elements of psychological support including listening, supporting and challenging the supervisee to improve their capacity to cope, especially in managing difficult and stressful situations.

Clinical support:

  • advocate for patients, reinforcing that every nurse’s role is to support patients and their families

  • in creating care plans collaboratively with patients and/or families in a challenging situation, such as supporting a patient to make safe choices based on the best available evidence, using the restorative function of the A-EQUIP model

  • demonstrate inspirational, motivational and visible leadership in the workplace

  • support change in clinical area(s)

  • role model promoting psychological safety and situational awareness in own practice.

Wellbeing support:

  • discuss any professional issues, including clinical incidents, team dynamics, stress, burnout, instances of bullying, career progression, interviews and quality initiatives, as well as personal issues

  • following a traumatic or stressful event, allow (or create) the opportunity for reflection to reduce stress and enable learning, limit compassion fatigue and improve confidence

  • portray an understanding of personal and professional resilience, developing this attitude in others.

Learning support:

  • to develop a nurse’s ideas and actions for quality improvement and service development

  • hold reflective discussions about revalidation and career development, preparation for appraisal

  • coach staff through reflection on incidents they may have experienced, with a focus on the system and processes.

The PNA team

Restorative Clinical Supervision is delivered in 121 confidential sessions by trained Professional Nurse Advocates.

In North Central London, we currently have one Professional Nurse Advocate- see bio below:

Lisa Smith

Lisa is the Practice Nurse Manger in a busy North London practice. She has been working for the Islington practice for the last 17 years. When she had her first son 12 years ago, she decided to relocate to live in Cumbria to be closer to family. She has since worked remotely for the practice and commutes to London monthly for few days. Over one year ago she was appointed as a PCN Lead Nurse and has thoroughly enjoyed this role which has given nurses within five practices a voice within the PCN.

She embarked on the Professional Nurse Advocate training in 2022 with the aim to enhance her supervision skills and to continue to support the nursing team that she leads. She is passionate about supporting, increasing training and leadership opportunities for nurses. She understands the current challenges and demands which nurses are facing and is looking forward to embedding the PNA role within NCL.

In her spare time, she enjoys running and has completed many half marathons for charities. Her ambition is to one day run the London Marathon. When she is not working or running, she is at home with her husband and two sons in the lovely Cumbrian countryside.

Claire Dorrington

After years in retail and with a young son starting school I started my nursing career as a mature student, completing an access course to get into university. It was whilst on an elective placement in my second year that I decided I wanted to be a practice nurse. But when I qualified in 2016, I felt the need for more experience of autonomy and wound care so I joined a district nursing team for a year where I was privileged to be let into people’s home to deliver their care. I started a specialist course in general practice and qualified as a GPN in 2019.

I have been the Lead Nurse for Longrove Surgery in Barnet for a year (the same surgery of my elective placement all those years ago). More recently I was the PCN3 lead nurse but stepped down to focus more time on my lead and PNA roles. I was attracted to the PNA role as I saw the opportunity to support the nursing workforce by increasing our resilience and wellbeing. I understand through my experience of working in the pandemic how isolating practice can feel and believe no nurse should ever feel they are on their own. I am also passionate about learning and development and am currently undertaking a Certificate in Education at University College London to further develop my teaching skills and experience. Outside of work I enjoy film nights with family, visiting museums, castles and old houses.

How to access support?

To request a Restorative Clinical Supervision session, please email

Please specify in your email if you'd like to request to speak to a specific PNA - Dee, Sam or Lisa.

Once you've made contact, you will be offered a meeting:

  • arranged at a mutually convenient time

  • in a private and confidential meeting place / online

  • you will also be able to mutually agree how long the meeting will last and agree ground rules for the session.

  • after the session, you will be asked to respond to an anonymous feedback survey - this is an essential element to help us evaluate our service and improve.

After the session - evaluation survey

Please complete the evaluation once you've attended a Restorative Clinical Supervision session with one of the Professional Nurse Advocates. This should take max. 2 minutes.

Click to open the survey or scan the QR code to open the survey:

QR code

Extra resources
Becoming a Professional Nurse Advocate

The Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) Training Programme is a virtual accredited Level 7 master’s clinical professional development training programme that will run for 10 days but can vary over weeks or months.

The criterion for the PNA training programme requires that you:

  • are a registered nurse

  • are in a patient facing role

  • are Band 5 or above

  • already hold an accredited Level 6 qualification (degree or degree equivalent/ top-up accredited Level 6 CPD course)

  • have practice manager/ lead nurse approval to be released

The training programme equips registered nurses with the skills and knowledge to support the mental health and wellbeing of fellow colleagues and improvement of patient care.

The training focuses on the four functions of the Advocating for Education and Quality and Improvement (A-Equip) Model.

The delivery and mode of academic assessment will vary dependent on the Higher Education Institute (HEI). Some academic assessments may include short essays, poster presentations and competency portfolios.

It is expected that as soon as you complete the PNA Training Programme, you will start to: support your fellow colleagues, facilitate restorative clinical supervision in practise, and lead and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response to the service demands and the ongoing changing patient requirements.

More information is available on the NHS website.


Contact Maria Powazka to enquire about the opportunity of training and working as a PNA in North Central London.