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The Charge Nurse is an RN that supervises and supports a nursing staff. It is the responsibility of the Charge Nurse to ensure that a high level of patient care is maintained, as well as acting as an educational resource for their nurses. An Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree or a diploma is nursing is required for this position in most cases.

The Charge Nurse RN is responsible for managing, assisting and supervising the nursing staff as well as providing patient care and administrative support. These individuals are experienced registered nurses who have displayed management, leadership and communication skills. Most facilities will have several charge nurses, for different shifts, departments or specialized units.

Some of the everyday duties for the Charge Nurse will include directing the admission, discharge and general flow of patients as well as assigning nurses and support staff to patients. An effective charge nurse is flexible and able to prioritize and adapt during emergencies.

Documenting the performance of nurses, performing evaluations and offering counsel to nurses on unsatisfactory performance are among the duties of the Charge Nurse. They will also meet with management to discuss administrative issues, personnel and to address and solve problems that may arise. 

Charge nurses can provide the staff members with guidance on administering care to new patients or those with special needs and be available to answer questions about protocol. Working with other nurses and patients in order to create an individualized care plan for each patient is part of the Charge Nurse’s job as well as developing and implementing courses and seminars to educate and train the staff.

In addition to their responsibilities as managers of the staff, the charge nurse also must perform administrative duties such as maintaining adequate supplies, informing staff of changes to protocols and creating schedules.  In some cases the Charge Nurse may provide additional assistance to the hospital staff with budgets and other duties.

Most of the duties of the Charge Nurse are administrative and managerial they may also provide some patient care depending on the facility, shift and other factors. They may need to assess and monitor patients including the monitoring of vital signs, collaborating with physicians and other team members as well as reporting special circumstances

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