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Delineation of the Nursing Supervisor Role

A Pilot Study

Glasofer, Amy DrNP, RN, NE-BC; Bertino Lapinsky, Anne MS, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: July/August 2019 - Volume 49 - Issue 7/8 - p 359–365
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000768

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to describe a sample of nursing supervisors and their work.

BACKGROUND The role of the nursing supervisor is not well understood. The supervisor population is poorly defined, as are their ideal academic preparation and work activities.

METHODS This study followed the American Nurses Credentialing Center® framework for role delineation studies. A convenience sample of 50 nursing supervisors from New Jersey was recruited to complete an online survey including demographic data and prioritization of work activities.

RESULTS Participants represented a homogeneous and aging workforce with diverse professional preparation. Exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 categories of nurse supervisor work including administrative presence, leadership liaison, patient safety and experience, patient care advocacy, throughput, and external response. Work activities were prioritized.

CONCLUSIONS Nurse supervisors prioritized responding to emergencies above all other responsibilities. This study should be replicated in a nationwide sample of nurse supervisors.

Author Affiliations: Nurse Scientist (Dr Glasofer), Virtua, Mt Laurel; and Advanced Nurse Clinician (Ms Lapinsky), Virtua Voorhees, Voorhees, New Jersey.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Glasofer, Virtua Center for Learning, 1200 Howard Blvd Suite 100, Mt Laurel, NJ 08054 (

Online date: July 15, 2019

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