Nursing supervisors are responsible for coordinating all aspects of nursing and health services, and they may serve in a number of different roles. For example, these supervisors may lead a team of nurses and other health service personnel in a fixed location such as a clinic or hospital department. They may also coordinate nursing care for clients in their homes.
The nursing supervisor's primary responsibility is to ensure that all care needs of their patients are met. Nursing supervisors establish schedules for care services, arrange for substitute caretakers as needed, and fill in for absent nurses or caretakers as necessary. They are the primary contact point for doctors working with the nurses and are responsible for maintaining and updating records to ensure proper patient care. Additionally, nursing supervisors review all work, records, and assessments made by their nursing staff, as well as establish standard practices for care tailored to their patients’ specific needs.
Nursing supervisors work in a variety of health care environments. They generally work a standard 40-hour week, but they may be required to work overtime to fill in for absent nurses or if patient care requires it. Travel may be required to visit patients or other medical facilities. The bulk of the nursing supervisor's time is spent managing nursing services, reviewing patient care and records, and resolving issues related to scheduling, patient care, and personnel disputes. They are the final authority on nursing care procedures in their department.
Nursing supervisors are required to hold a nursing degree and (in most cases) a registered nurse (RN) certification. They must have some experience nursing in the organization’s or department’s area of expertise. To reach the supervisory level, these professionals must have some management experience.
Nursing Supervisor Tasks
Provide patient care, staff supervision, care of the environment as designated on the assigned shift.
Supervise and coordinate the activities of the nursing staff in performing and provide nursing care.
Maintain adequate staffing and supervision of the nursing department.