Author(s): McCallin AM, Frankson C
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Abstract AIM: To explore the charge nurse manager role. BACKGROUND: Management in nursing is increasingly challenging. Restructuring of organizations has had an impact on the scope of the charge nurse manager role that has expanded so that managers are now expected to be leaders. If role preparation is inadequate, potential for role confusion and role stress increases, undermining role effectiveness in this key senior nursing position. METHOD: This descriptive exploratory study investigated the experiences of charge nurse managers. Twelve nurse managers from an acute care hospital in New Zealand were interviewed. Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Three themes, role ambiguity, business management deficit and role overload emerged. It was evident that charge nurse managers were appointed into a management role with clinical expertise but without management skills. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that role preparation should include postgraduate education and business management training. Role induction requires a formal organizational management trainee programme and ongoing supportive clinical supervision. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: New approaches to charge nurse manager role development are needed. Organizations must provide formal structural support to facilitate management development. The profession needs to promote succession planning that would reduce these longstanding problems.
This article was published in J Nurs Manag
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