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Charge Nurse Leadership Development and Evaluation

Krugman, Mary PhD, RN; Smith, Vivienne BSN, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: May 2003 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 284-292

Objective To describe the development and evaluation of a permanent charge nurse role and report outcomes of this leadership model over 4 years.

Background A permanent charge nurse role was developed to improve continuity of care and develop emerging nurse leaders. An evaluation model was constructed to measure program outcomes. Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Model served as the theoretical framework.

Methods The permanent charge nurse role was developed, training planned, and the evaluation framework established. Measurements included two survey instruments, an investigator-developed End-of-Shift Report, and institutional patient satisfaction data. Survey instruments included Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI), concurrently measuring self (charge) and other (staff) perceptions of charge leadership. The McClosky Mueller Satisfaction Scale (MMSS) measured charge and staff nurse job satisfaction. Data were collected at baseline, post-implementation, and additional time periods.

Results Charge RNs reported significantly more favorable perceptions of leadership abilities than staff. The Shift Report successfully tracked both system and charge management issues. Patient satisfaction data did not yield data due to vendor changes. Job satisfaction results showed charge nurses reported higher satisfaction with schedule, praise and recognition, control and responsibility, than staff nurses.

Conclusions Using data to evaluate charge nurse leadership guides continued program improvements.

Authors’ affiliations: Director, Professional Resources (Dr Krugman), Informatics Nurse Specialist (Ms Smith), Department of Professional Resources, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver.

Corresponding author: Mary Krugman, PhD, RN, University of Colorado Hospital, 4200 E 9th Ave, Box A021-800, Denver, CO 80262 (

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.