A registered nurse (RN) supervisor oversees a team of registered nurses, ensuring smooth operations, compliance with health and safety standards and regulations, and quality of patient care. The supervisor may provide some direct patient care, especially during emergencies or staffing shortages, but his or her primary responsibilities are administrative. The RN supervisor typically is responsible for scheduling shifts, making sure adequate coverage of personnel is present, and ensuring the skill set of staff is appropriate for the provision of patient care. The supervisor is responsible for seeing that internal policies, as well as external regulations, are followed; they also develop or improve organizational procedures.
Registered nurse supervisors are found in a variety of work environments, but typically are employed in a hospital or long-term care facility. A RN supervisor must be licensed as a registered nurse; licensure is obtained after completion of a degree program (which will range from two to five years, depending upon the decree conferred) from an accredited nursing school and successful passage of the nursing license exam administered by the state nursing board. To become a supervisor, several years of experience providing patient care in a related environment typically is required. To be successful in the role, a registered nurse supervisor must possess excellent organizational and time-management skills, as well as exhibit superior interpersonal and communication skills with a variety of people such as patients and their families, subordinate nurses, administrative staff, and physicians. The RN supervisor must be able to work efficiently under pressure and remain calm in emotional or stressful situations. He or she can expect to work at least 40 hours a week and could work additional hours as needed.
Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor Tasks
Provide direct care to patients, assess their status, and administer medication and treatments.
Add to, review, and ensure good practices for nursing charts and discharge papers.
Communicate with attendings to record and sign their orders, update patient statuses, and convey test results.
Supervise nursing staff, including scheduling, evaluations, and compliance with regulations.