Inside the program: What is a charge nurse?

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, September 13, 2010

Charge nurse is a term that has been around since the early 1980s and has often been used interchangeably with other terms, such as unit supervisor or shift coordinator (Sherman & Eggenberger, 2009). Defining the exact role of a charge nurse is not straightforward, due to the variation in the definition, scope, duties, and responsibilities across healthcare facilities.

Some charge nurses may be in a more structured position that can include some or all of the following responsibilities:

  • Conducting performance evaluations
  • Competency assessment
  • Scheduling
  • Payroll
  • Staffing
  • Coordinating the delivery of patient care

    Source: Charge Nurse Program Builder: Tools for Developing Unit Leaders

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