In 1994 the Department of Health recommended that nurses be introduced to the process of clinical supervision during pre-registration training. In response to this recommendation, the now defunct English National Board (ENB) stated that: "It will be a requirement that all students of pre-registration nursing programmes receive preparation in what to expect from clinical supervision" (ENB, 1995, p. 4). Despite the fact that no further guidance was issued there is an emerging body of literature exploring this area. This paper reports findings from the initial phase of a three-year prospective longitudinal study examining students' experiences of group clinical supervision undertaken as part of their pre-registration training. In this part of the study 32 mental health nursing students participated in focus groups in which they discussed their expectations of clinical supervision. Content analysis of the data produced five major categories: 'the nature of clinical supervision'; 'roles and responsibilities'; 'staying safe and doing no harm'; 'being in a group'; and 'being a student'. The findings suggest that the idea of supervision is attractive to students, although there are significant anxieties both about supervision in general and of group supervision in particular.