The first section of the workshop presentation summarizes the charge nurse role. The role encompasses many functions, along with having responsibilities, accountability, and authority.
Advising the charge nurse with proper education, training, backing from leadership, and a tangible job description will allow them to function and produce positive results.
It is the skills the charge nurses possess:
Knowing other staff and looking out for their welfare
Keeping staff informed
Ensuring the tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished
Making sound and timely decisions
Developing a sense of responsibility in the staff members and peers
Setting an example
Leading the team will assist them in the success of their role as a charge nurse, as "leaders do not command excellence, they build excellence" (Connelley, 2003.) To complete the charge nurse role and RAA section the charge nurses see a video created by the education team. The video includes a charge nurse, patient, inexperienced nurse, and an experienced, overworked nurse.
The actual scenario is a combination of factual situations that they have experienced, submitted by the charge nurse prior to the workshop.
The video includes many "don't do" type of behaviors, e.g.: improper delegation, mentoring, role modeling, and communication from actual situations.
After viewing the video, the charge nurses must identify and discuss better ways to approach the situation or scenario using the knowledge they gained from the workshop.
This exercise proves to be a success with the charge nurses because they can laugh at situations, but some could also identify with bits and pieces of the scenario. The inclusion of factual situations assist the charge nurses in how to better proceed and act on a given situation without feeling as though they are over stepping any boundaries in the RAA.
The rest of the workshop continues to cover other topics on the agenda as well as ensuring the participants continue to interact with one another and the presenters. Each topic includes some type of activity or self-assessment tool.
At the conclusion of the workshop, a complete evaluation form covering the topics presented, the presenters, information provided, and the activities, is necessary. This will allow for a way to measure what can be done differently, or what needs to be added for the next charge nurse workshop.
As an added "thank you" for all the hard work the charge nurses do on a daily basis, a gift bag including the book The Charge Nurse's Guide: Navigating the Path of Leadership by C. Scott Leary is recommended because the book can help charge nurses continue their education outside of the workshop.
Burns, P., Ealgton, B., Gordon, T. & Thompson, J. Improving financial outcomes with
high-performing charge nurses. Retrieved on October 18, 2009 from www.besmith.com
Connelly, L. M., Yoder, L. H. & Miner-Williams, D. (2003, October). A qualitative study
of charge nurse competencies. MedSurg Nursing. 12(5), p. 298-306.
Hardy, . M. (2005, July). Accountability 101. NRA News.
Leary, C. S. (2006). The charge nurse’s guide: Navigating the path to
Miner-Williams, D., Connelly, L. M. & Yoder, L. H. (2000, Mar). Taking charge.
Taking charge: What every charge nurse needs to know. (“Nurses First”, July/Aug,
2009). 1(4). p. 6-10.
The Scottish Government. (2008, May). Leading better care: Report of the senior charge
nurse review and clinical quality indicators project. Retrieved October 11, 2009 from www.scotland.gov.uk
Critical Thinking: Tools for Clinical Excellence and Leadership Effectiveness
by Paula S. Forte, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CWCN
Critical thinking remains a key issue for nurses and nurse managers. When asked what nurse managers struggle with the most, a lack of critical thinking consistently ranks near the top of the list. Critical Thinking: Tools for Clinical Excellence and Leadership Effectiveness provides the tools for nurses to help themselves and their staff improve their thinking and communication skills with both colleagues and patients.
This new book is geared toward mid-career nurses, newly promoted nurse managers, and nurses who are at a critical point in their career.