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My organization is developing a charge nurse orientation this year and we are having difficulty deciding what policies and procedures should be highlighted. Is there an easier way to go about this?

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The nursing leadership team should meet to discuss which policies and procedures are appropriate to incorporate into the charge nurse orientation program. Think about all the possible scenarios that you as a leader have encountered in your professional career as a nurse and list the administrative and clinical policies you have needed to refer to in the past. It may be difficult to complete this exercise alone, so do this in a group meeting with other nurse leaders.

What you hope to gain from this brainstorming session is the ability to match a policy to an event that could occur when the charge nurse is on duty. You also need to consider emergency situations, infection control issues, and low-frequency, high-risk events that have occurred in the past. The ultimate goal is to educate charge nurses and provide the necessary resources in the charge nurse orientation manual.

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

(July 2010)