A Qualitative Study of Charge Nurse Competencies


Name: Lynne Connelly

Rank: COL, USA

Organization: Facilitators of Applied Clinical Trials

Performance Site: Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX

Year Published: 1996

Abstract Status: Final


This qualitative study identifies and categorizes the specific competencies of the charge nurse, as well as barriers and facilitators of the role. Data was derived from 42 interviews with nurses who function frequently as charge nurses (12), head nurses (10), staff nurses (11), and supervisory personnel (9). Constant comparative analysis was used in this study. Data collection continued until data saturation was reached. Methodologic rigor was maintained by use of an audit trail, process and analytic memos, member-checking procedures, and peer debriefing. Fifty-four competencies were identified in four categories: clinical/technical (15), critical thinking (12), organizational (9), and human relations skills (18). In addition, 15 characteristics of an effective charge nurse were articulated. Informants also identified 28 specific factors, in three categories, that could be barriers or facilitators of the role. These factors were categorized as personal (12), interpersonal (10), and organizational (6). Study findings will be useful for role definition, training, and competency assessment of charge nurses. The relatively large number of competencies in the human relations skills category emphasizes the critical need for training in this particular area.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2002107...