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Vital need to support ward sister role highlighted by RCN report

  • 2 Comments

A set of recommendations highlighting the vital role of the ward sister and charge nurse has been launched by the RCN, with the support of the government.

The college today published a new report called ‘Breaking down barriers, driving up standards: the role of the ward sister and charge nurse’. It highlights the importance of the role and also the current challenges facing those in it.

Among the recommendations in the report are that all ward sisters become supervisory to shifts and that directors of nursing review the remit of their ward sisters to ensure they have appropriate authority over key areas such as nutrition and cleanliness.

The report also includes examples of best practice where the RCN feels that sisters are being used and supported well.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘Ward sisters and charge nurses have many roles, but their responsibility is clear – to oversee patient care on a ward.’

‘All ward sisters must have the authority and the resources to make their wards run as well as they possibly can, and this report shows that where this has already happened, patients feel the benefits,’ he added at the report’s launch at University College London Hospital.

Speaking at the launch, chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley described the report as ‘absolutely critical document’.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Speaking as a part time ward manager (two days supernumary, three days as part of the establishment figures) who was not involved in this study I would like to applaud the authors for capturing exactly how I feel about the complexity and demands of the job i want to do.
    Every opportunity I get, I say that we need to be supernumary to be able to fulfill every aspect of this demanding role and still only have two days a week and that is minus the days when we think we are going to be supernumary and get dropped into numbers "as a last resort" to cover.
    Thank you for giving me a study to back up what I already knew but at least I can play the research backed game now.

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  • Speaking as a part time ward manager (two days supernumary, three days as part of the establishment figures) who was not involved in this study I would like to applaud the authors for capturing exactly how I feel about the complexity and demands of the job i want to do.
    Every opportunity I get, I say that we need to be supernumary to be able to fulfill every aspect of this demanding role and still only have two days a week and that is minus the days when we think we are going to be supernumary and get dropped into numbers "as a last resort" to cover.
    Thank you for giving me a study to back up what I already knew but at least I can play the research backed game now.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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