Staff Nurse

A staff nurse is a registered nurse who has clinical expertise that match the requirement of being employed in a hospital. In order to be a staff nurse in a certain hospital, a registered nurse must undergo training in a particular setting in order to be able to serve the hospital effectively.

Aside from that, a staff nurse has also taken a four-year course in Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After which, he or she have passed the local board examination for nurses. For instance, in United States of America, the NCLEX-RN or National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses is the sole organization the is responsible in making nurse practice in each state under lawful rights and privileges.

A staff nurse may actually sharpen his or her expertise through continued professional education. Trainings, seminars and degree programs are offered both online and class-room type in order to serve the demanding career. As the health care set-up progresses, the staff nurse is challenged to increase his or her knowledge and expertise. It is actually his or her responsibility to undergo such additional training. Some of the trainings may even be shouldered by the hospital since the skills that the staff nurse will learn will be applied to their institution. As the hospital considers the staff nurses as an asset, they are willing to spend a quantity for staff development.

Being employed in a hospital is an advantage in terms of job security. There a formal contract being done between the hospital and the staff nurse. However, it is a caution that before entering into the contract, the nurse must try to read through the contract first before signing it.

As a staff nurse, there is a flow of command and communication that must be observed. Technically, a staff nurse reports to the head nurse about the daily activities in the unit. The head nurse then reports the findings to the supervisor and in turn, the supervisor is responsible in echoing this matter to the director of nursing or the chief nurse.

What are the roles of a staff nurse?

1. Caregiver – The staff nurse performs most of the bedside care. They can delegate some tasks to the LPNs however; transcribing the doctor’s order is a very important role of a staff nurse.

2. Resource Person – The staff nurse is the channel of all the information the patient and the folks need during the course of care.

3. Manager – The staff nurse can actually be a manager by himself or herself. He or she must be responsible in organizing and directing the nursing care to be given in a particular patient. He or she also implements the plan of care. Time management for instance is also an important aspect of being a staff nurse.

4. Advocate – The staff nurse is responsible in voicing out the needs of the patient in behalf of the barriers and difficulty in communicating such problems. The nurse stands for the patient and looks at the interest of the patient as a whole.

5. Change agent – As a change agent, the staff nurse modifies the usual habit of patients. They want to change this since it poses a danger to their health and a barrier to improvement of quality of life.

6. Collaborator – The staff nurse knows that he or she cannot improve or treat the patient on his or her own efforts. He or she needs the presence of other health team in order to mobilize the plan of care. He or she is responsible in scheduling the patient as well as the procedures. He or she collaborates with the physician in looking to the response of the patient in terms of treatment.

7. Teacher – Health teaching is a very important tool for staff nurses. They convey important information through teaching. Methods of teaching should be an important part of sending information to those who lacked knowledge. Aside from that being a staff nurse, he or she is responsible in performing discharge instructions. They teach those instructions in the level of understanding of patients.

8. Team member– As a team member, he or she performs the delegated tasks. The functions such as giving medications, introducing an intravenous line to the patient and other methods of treatment are dependent functions of a staff nurse.

9. Surrogate – As a staff nurse, he or she must be a surrogate at times. He or she is viewed by the patient as a replacement of the people who are dear to him or her. For example, a staff nurse can be a sister to a sick younger lady or vice versa.

The outlook of a staff nurse as a job position is positive. A plan to go up on the level of management can actually be achieved by being a staff nurse first. Aside from the potential professional advancement, the average pay of a staff nurse may range from $40,000 to $50,000 depending on the unit of specialty and location.

Image Courtesy of

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

What Do You Think?