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Helping Charge Nurses understand their leadership role (Part 3 of 3)

Editor's note: This is Part 3 in a three part series discussing the importance of charge nurses' knowledge and understanding of their leadership role in their organization.

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.


The End

The first section of the workshop presentation summarizes the charge nurse role. The role encompasses many functions, along with having responsibilities, accountability, and authority.

Advising the charge nurse with proper education, training, backing from leadership, and a tangible job description will allow them to function and produce positive results.

It is the skills the charge nurses possess:

  • Technical proficiency
  • Knowing other staff and looking out for their welfare
  • Keeping staff informed
  • Ensuring the tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished
  • Making sound and timely decisions
  • Developing a sense of responsibility in the staff members and peers
  • Setting an example

Leading the team will assist them in the success of their role as a charge nurse, as "leaders do not command excellence, they build excellence" (Connelley, 2003.) To complete the charge nurse role and RAA section the charge nurses see a video created by the education team. The video includes a charge nurse, patient, inexperienced nurse, and an experienced, overworked nurse.

The actual scenario is a combination of factual situations that they have experienced, submitted by the charge nurse prior to the workshop.

The video includes many "don't do" type of behaviors, e.g.: improper delegation, mentoring, role modeling, and communication from actual situations.

After viewing the video, the charge nurses must identify and discuss better ways to approach the situation or scenario using the knowledge they gained from the workshop.

This exercise proves to be a success with the charge nurses because they can laugh at situations, but some could also identify with bits and pieces of the scenario. The inclusion of factual situations assist the charge nurses in how to better proceed and act on a given situation without feeling as though they are over stepping any boundaries in the RAA.

The rest of the workshop continues to cover other topics on the agenda as well as ensuring the participants continue to interact with one another and the presenters. Each topic includes some type of activity or self-assessment tool.

At the conclusion of the workshop, a complete evaluation form covering the topics presented, the presenters, information provided, and the activities, is necessary. This will allow for a way to measure what can be done differently, or what needs to be added for the next charge nurse workshop.

As an added "thank you" for all the hard work the charge nurses do on a daily basis, a gift bag including the book The Charge Nurse's Guide: Navigating the Path of Leadership by C. Scott Leary is recommended because the book can help charge nurses continue their education outside of the workshop.



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high-performing charge nurses. Retrieved on October 18, 2009 from
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Hardy, . M. (2005, July). Accountability 101. NRA News.         

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