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Is there an effective way to have new charge nurses meet everyone in the various departments without taking up too much time?

Schedule a conference room for your charge nurses for an entire day and have an agenda so that each department or service line that affects the charge nurses' department meets with the charge nurses for 30 minutes. During this time, ask the department leader or representative to introduce themselves and discuss their roles and responsibilities in their department. Ask the leadership team to discuss how they can assist the charge nurses to facilitate patient care. This is a great way to get to know the other departments and put faces to names. It is also a brilliant succession planning opportunity for your charge nurses to understand more about the overall operations, and not merely those particular to their unit. Create an orientation checklist for each department, so as each leader meets with the charge nurses, they sign and date their form. This piece is critical to documentation of this orientation.

Tammy L. Berbarie, BA, RN, RN-BC

(August 2010)