A formal role where a nurse is in a position of leadership is that of a charge nurse. The charge nurse is responsible for leading a nursing unit, which involves planning, coordinating, and evaluating nursing activities (Kevas, Seljak & Stare, 2013). This position requires a certain level of educational preparation, as one must have a master’s degree in nursing. This advanced degree provides the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively lead a nursing unit.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes leadership as an integral attribute of being a nurse. According to the ANA, there are several competencies that are crucial elements of being a leader, including flexibility, creativity, leadership, organization, and ethics (Kevas, Seljak & Stare, 2013). These competencies are essential for a charge nurse to fulfill their responsibilities effectively.
To be successful in the role of a charge nurse, there are specific competencies that are necessary for leading others and the organization. Leading others requires strong communication skills, conflict management abilities, a focus on diversity, employee development, and building relationships (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Communication is vital for effectively conveying information and instructions to the nursing staff. Conflict management skills allow the charge nurse to address any conflicts or disagreements among the team. Having an understanding of diversity ensures that all team members are treated with respect and that cultural differences are acknowledged and accommodated. Furthermore, focusing on employee development allows the charge nurse to foster a culture of continuous learning and professional growth among the nursing staff. Building relationships is essential for creating a supportive and collaborative work environment.
In addition to leading others, a charge nurse is also responsible for leading the organization. This requires attributes such as change management, decision-making, influence, problem-solving, and systems thinking (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Change management skills are essential for navigating and implementing organizational changes. Effective decision-making is necessary to make informed choices that will benefit the nursing unit and the organization as a whole. The charge nurse must also possess the ability to influence others, to motivate and inspire the nursing staff towards achieving the unit’s goals. Problem-solving skills are essential for addressing any issues or challenges that may arise. Lastly, having a systems thinking approach allows the charge nurse to understand how different components within the organization interact and affect the overall functioning of the nursing unit.
In conclusion, the formal role of a charge nurse is a position of leadership within a nursing unit. This role requires advanced education, as a master’s degree in nursing is typically required. The charge nurse is responsible for planning, coordinating, and evaluating nursing activities. To be successful in this role, certain leadership traits, styles, and qualities are necessary. These include effective communication, conflict management, diversity focus, employee development, and relationship-building skills. Additionally, the charge nurse must possess attributes such as change management, decision-making, influence, problem-solving, and systems thinking in order to effectively lead the organization. These competencies and skills are vital for the charge nurse to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure the delivery of high-quality patient care.