Nursing

Expert spotlight: Enhance charge nurse communication and productivity

Nurse Leader Insider, November 24, 2008

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This week, Brandon G. Bennett, MSN, RN, shares some expert advice on how to communicate effectively with charge nurses.

Q: How can I improve communication with my charge nurses?

A: If you want charge nurses to work effectively for you, maintain open, two-way communication. Such communication will not only help them keep you informed about the state of the unit, but will also help you gauge their ability to take on the 24-hour responsibility and accountability that is expected of leaders.

To improve communication between you and charge nurses, consider using tools such as shift report checklists or charge nurse job/role descriptions. By working with the various communication skills and styles of the charge nurses, you will benefit having staff you can rely on to help you take 24-hour responsibility and accountability for the unit.

When you've learned how to communicate with charge staff, you will grow as a manager as you delegate and hold staff accountable. However; when delegation attempts fail and outcomes are unacceptable, remember enforcing standards and holding staff accountable requires consistent behavior.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to editor Keri Mucci at kmucci@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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