Nursing leadership is much defined nowadays as a nurse’s work becoming diverse. Since nurses comprise the biggest population of health care personnel in a hospital, the line of command must be organized in order to promote proper communication among individual unit. On the lateral leadership a nursing staff might look forward to a head nurse, then to the supervisor.
The American Nurses Association defines a nursing supervisor as a registered nurse who has a Master’s degree in nursing with at least 5 years of clinical experience. They are present in each unit or may even cover three to four hospital units at the same time. They assume the managerial part of each unit or ward. The head nurse reports to nursing supervisors routinely.
Two kinds of power of a nursing supervisor:
1. Downward power – The nurse supervisor is responsible in overseeing the head nurse, senior staff nurses as well as the non-nursing personnel. They are also in charge of the special procedures to be done in each day. Nurse supervisors have three shifts to fill in the 24-hour nursing care.
2. Upward power- The nurse supervisor has the power to recommend or approve the ideas of each subordinate. He or she has the power to implement policies newly approved by the top management too. In terms of upward communication, all the written communication and verbal complaints of the subordinates pass through the nurse supervisor. He or she serves as the representative of the unit when facing the top-level managers of the hospital.
Here are the basic functions and responsibilities of a nursing supervisor:
1. Personnel Development – They are the ones responsible in making programs that comprise development and increase of knowledge and expertise among personnel. Standard operating procedures and new procedures and policies are reviewed by the nurse supervisor in order to make sure that each of them conforms to the mission and vision of the organization. He or she also Plans the programs and work of all the nursing personnel of the unit.
In terms of work schedules, the nurse supervisor directs arrangements of schedule of work hours, off duties, vacation leaves, etc. of all nursing person not assigned in the unit. The work accomplished is also evaluated by the nurse supervisor. In times of work issues and conflicts, he or she prepares the plans for counselling of co-workers; this is done individually, especially to personnel with problems – alcoholism, habitual absences and even harassment of co-worker. Overall, he or she must promote a harmonious working relationship in the unit.
2. Patient Care Supervision – The nurse supervisor is there in order to ensure the quality of nursing care being delivered daily in each unit. Any complaints or discrepancies alongside with the delivery of care is always augmented by the nurse supervisor.
On a daily basis, the nurse supervisor is presented during endorsements of shifts. He or she is in contact with the senior nurse and checks the plan of care and its proper execution. In this way, he or she is well informed of the status of the whole unit.
Health teachings are also done by the nurse supervisor. They can be in charge of discharge teachings given to patients and their families as the need arises. In times of referrals, the nurse supervisor also makes sure that there is a continuity of care. This may include proper appraisal of the family of patients about how much they will be able to spend for the prescribed treatment and hospital confinement.
The nurse supervisor serves as consultant and adviser to the senior nurse in developing, devising and adopting work techniques and methods for the solution of problems related to patient care.
3. Advocate of Safe Environment – The supervisor nurse is present in providing an adequate and safe environment by guiding and helping head nurses in providing and maintaining a safe, orderly and clean environment for patient and personnel. Some supervisor nurse may even be appointed to focus on infection control of the whole hospital.
4. Budget Officer – The nurse supervisor help in providing adequate supplies and equipment by determining the needs for supplies and equipment based upon past experience and future plans for programs of patient care. He or she makes proper representation to the administration of the needs of the department. Other options would be to coordinate with the special departments such maintenance department to ensure functioning machines and supplies for the unit covered.
The Supervisor’s Pay
According to recent surveys made in May of this year, a nursing supervisor can even earn more than $80,000 yearly. The PayScale has made this survey in order to present a bright outcome for aspiring nurse to move forward in terms of their career ladder.
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