Ask the expert: Teaching your charge nurse to cultivate talent

Nurse Leader Insider, April 25, 2011

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This week, Tammy L. Berbarie, BA, RN, RN-BC, explains how briefings can be beneficial on the nursing unit, and how they should be executed.

Q: What are some strategies I can teach to my charge nurses to develop and facilitate talent in their department?

A: As leaders, charge nurses have a professional responsibility to mentor others to grow professionally by providing opportunities for learning. This is your team that you are working with every day, and time should be invested in advancing the knowledge and skills of your team members so they can effectively deliver safe patient care.

Teaching your charge nurses how to discover and develop talent is critical to the success of the team, patient care, and the overall delivery of service within the department and organization. In addition, it is a way to develop leaders within your team so you will have a talent pool to choose from when new leadership opportunities arise, such as becoming a preceptor, charge nurse, unit-based education, council chair, or unit manager. This is part of succession planning and will help support the sustainability of the unit you work in and the organization as a whole.

According to Gebelein et al. (2004), there are a number of strategies you can use to teach your leaders to develop successors and built talent pools:

  • Know your team members and their abilities as much as their limitations
  • Work with your department leader to identify and understand key roles in the department that have the most critical need for successors

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