This Blog was Originally Published on Calling All Nurses – Nursing encompasses an array of team members who have roles and responsibilities that are specific to their individual positions. Although some may be removed from direct patient care, they all share the goal of providing safe, compassionate, and cost effective care for the patients they serve.
Here is a breakdown of each team member and their roles within a hospital setting:
- Chief Nursing Officer – CNOs are RNs who usually have a Master’s Degree or PhD, and many years of nursing experience. They supervise nurse managers, facilitate the design and implementation of patient care, and recommend strategies to improve patient care services. Additionally, they work towards meeting administrative goals, maintain satisfactory outcomes, and contribute to reaching facility profitability.
- House Nursing Supervisor – The Nursing House Supervisor is a RN that provides administrative leadership for various nursing services and handles nurse staffing for the hospital. Other responsibilities include patient bed management and helping the nursing staff make decisions regarding patient care. Although advanced education is preferred for this position, it is not required for those with strong clinical skills and adequate experience.
- Director of Nursing Services –Largely an administrative role with a small clinical component, the DONS position requires a minimum of Master’s Degree, as well as focus specific certification, such as medical-surgical nursing. This RN is responsible for overseeing the clinical services within their department and manages their departmental budget.
- Nurse Practitioner – NPs are RNs with a minimum of a Master’s Degree and serve as a care provider for a group of patients within the hospital. In some cases, they are hired as a hospitalist, and manage patient admissions, diagnosis, treatment, and discharges. In other cases, they serve as patient navigators that help streamline the care specific to a patient’s disease process, such as congestive heart failure or diabetes.
- Nurse Manager – The nurse manager is a RN that oversees unit operations and provides the nursing staff with direction and expert guidance in patient care related to hospital policy and protocol. Hiring, firing, and scheduling are primary responsibilities of the Nurse Manager. In terms of education, a BSN is required, though a Master’s degree is preferred.
- Charge Nurse – The Charge Nurse is a RN that helps to manage the day-to-day operations of a unit, assists with unit staffing, creating patient care assignments, and provides additional resourcing for the nursing staff. For this position, the RN must have strong clinical skills, adequate work experience on that unit, and a BSN is preferred.
- Staff Nurse/Bedside Nurse – The Staff Nurse is a RN that provides direct, hands-on patient care for a group of assigned patients, and usually has minimal administrative responsibility. In some cases, the Staff RN may serve as a member of a unit committee, or may be charged with training all new nursing staff. Although many RNs within the workforce have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, many hospitals prefer nurses with a BSN.
- Patient Care Technician – The PCT assists the RNs with the delivery of patient care. They may perform a variety of technical skills that nursing delegates, such as assisting patients with activities of daily living, obtaining vital signs, performing bedside glucose checks, collecting lab specimens, and removing certain lines, tubes, and drains.