Catalyst Learning Blog


Articles, case studies, and success stories to guide and inspire healthcare HR, Organizational Development, and Clinical professionals.

Winning Strategies for Charge Nurses chardyadmin

Winning Strategies for Charge Nurses


When transitioning from a staff nurse to a charge nurse position, it is important for new charge nurses to build trust and respect within the unit. With increased responsibilities as well as co-workers to manage, it helps to have a plan and an understanding of key nurse leader skills. Here are three winning strategies to help ensure success:


  • Display Confidence: When charge nurses are confident in their ability to lead, it instills trust in their teams. Confident leaders inspire teams to work together, perform to the best of their ability and provide patients with the highest quality care.
  • Ignore Gossip: Leaders don’t gossip, and they don’t allow it to go on in their units, either. Gossip can have a significant impact on morale. Strong nurse leaders also ignore gossip that may be aimed at them.
  • Get to Know the Team: Charge nurses can be so consumed with their new role that they forget to check in with their teams. It’s important to make time to get to know co-workers. Listening to the ideas, concerns and interests of staff members is key to a supervisor’s success.


These skills and other behaviors can be emphasized through charge nurse leadership training. Learning programs that use real examples and scenarios will help charge nurses recognize where and how they can have a positive impact.


Many healthcare organizations invest in the development of new nurse leaders to increase engagement and retention, and ultimately improve patient care.  


NCharge, created by Catalyst Learning Company, offers an evidence-based curriculum that gives first level supervisory nurses the insights, interpersonal skills and business knowledge they need to more effectively manage, inspire and lead. Please contact Catalyst Learning for information on charge nurse leadership training and how to strengthen nurse leader skills within your healthcare organization.

5 Common Pitfalls for Frontline Supervisors, Charge Nurses chardyadmin

While strong performance often secure promotions in healthcare and nursing management, first-time supervisors may be navigating uncharted territory when it comes to leadership skills. In other words, the best employees don't always make the best leaders.


Gallup reports that the #1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor.


Poor leadership skills can have a ripple effect across a department or nursing unit. It's no secret that turnover can cost healthcare organizations thousands of dollars per employee.  


Healthcare organizations can be proactive on this front and position first-time supervisors for success. Below are five of the common pitfalls you can help your first time supervisors and charge nurses to avoid.


  • Over-supervising:

Anxious to excel in their new position, frontline supervisors and charge nurses may have a tendency to micro-manage their teams. This negatively impacts productivity and team development and can leave managers feeling overwhelmed.

  • Under-supervising:

Some new supervisors fail to provide adequate direction because they don't want to appear bossy among colleagues who, until recently, were their peers. This can negatively impact employee engagement and lead to increased turnover as well.

  • Failing to delegate:

Supervisors and charge nurses are in management positions because of their experience and knowledge, and sometimes they find it difficult to delegate tasks to those who are less experienced.

  • Blaming management: If a frontline supervisor or charge nurse is uncomfortable implementing policies and procedures, he or she may be inclined to shift blame to management. It's important that the management team demonstrate unity, even if they don't always agree.


  • Ignoring concerns of the team:

New managers can be so consumed with their new role and the increased responsibility that they forget to check-in with the team. Listening to the concerns of staff members is key to a supervisor's success.  


Frontline supervisors and charge nurses must have the ability to communicate well, think strategically and lead change; all while understanding and being tuned into team dynamics. When a healthcare organization invests in the development of promising leaders, the staff, upper management and patients also benefit. 

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