Charge Nurse Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Charge Nurse, or Sister Nurse is in charge of a specific ward in a hospital or healthcare facility while working their shift. Their primary duties include performing general nursing tasks, taking care of schedules and delegating tasks to the staff Nurses. 


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Charge Nurse duties and responsibilities

The specific duties and responsibilities of a Charge Nurse depends on the size and type of unit or ward they oversee. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:

  • Managing the nursing care of all patients in the department or ward during their shift
  • Delegating the nursing tasks between the Nurses working in the unit and coordinating with the Physicians when they need nursing assistance
  • Monitoring patients’ conditions and responding appropriately if there are changes in the patients’ conditions
  • Supervising the Nursing Aides in the completion of their allocated tasks and advising them or improvements they can make
  • Detecting any issues that could injure or cause difficulty for staff or patients
  • Informing Physicians of changes in patients’ condition, progress or medicinal needs


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Charge Nurse Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Charge NURSE – LD Murraypark Locations: Citypark and Roghainn House, Kirkliston FIXED Contract / Secondment / 12 mths / Fulltime / 37.5 HOURS PER WEEK Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership – North West Edinburgh Locality (Lothian) BAND 6 x 1 The Charge Nurse post provides an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic, experienced and dynamic RNLD to develop their career within NHS Lothian, whilst working in partnership with 3rd sector providers, delivering excellent standards of individualised care to adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). The key function of the post is to provide credible and authentic clinical leadership to ensure each patient experiences high quality person centred care and positive health outcomes.Successful candidates will have excellent and organisational skills and have the ability to demonstrate clear professional judgement and decision making. Applicants must be registered nurses with valid NMC registration. A flexible approach to working in this 24 hour service is essential to ensure safe, effective, person centred care is delivered. A genuine interest in working with people with PMLD and associated health care needs such as Epilepsy is essential. NHS Lothian is committed to encouraging equality and diversity among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. To this end, NHS Lothian welcomes applications from all sections of society. ***Please NOTE: We cannot accept late applications so please ensure your application is submitted early*** This post requires the post holder to have a PVG Scheme membership/ record. If the post holder is not a current PVG member for the required regulatory group [website] child and/or adult) then an application will need to be made to Disclosure Scotland and deemed satisfactory before they can begin in post. For further information on what is included in the role and what skills/experience are being looked for, click on the links at the bottom of the screen to the job description and person specification. If after reading this information you have any questions please contact Claire Murray, Nurse Team Lead. Tel: 0[phone number] / 07799 343 024 or

Example 2

*Company description: * King’s College Hospital Jeddah will be a unique and unparalleled extension of UK based King’s College Hospital London’s model of care, specifically designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the residents and communities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. King’s College Hospital is bringing the best of British healthcare to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. * Will be commissioned in Q4, 2022. * State-of-the-art private hospital, JCI accredited, rendering patient centred high quality care. * Community general hospital with all major specialities and four Centres of Excellence namely Women’s Health Institute, Metabolic Diseases & Bariatric Surgery Institute, Orthopaedics Institute and Heart & Vascular Institute. * 31,000 square meters, initially 150 beds expandable to 250 beds in Phase II. * 120 Outpatient clinics including Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Men’s Health, Stem Cells, Plastic Surgery and Dermatology amongst others. * 24x7 Emergency, Lab and Imaging, Pharmacy, Telemedicine, Home Nursing and other services. *Job description: * We are inviting interest from UK Qualified Charge Nurses/ Sisters - across the following departments: * Paeds: *2 * NICU: *2 * Critical Care (ICU and HDU): *2 * Medical and Surgical: *2 * Operating Theatre: *2 * Emergency Room: *2 * Women’s Health (Obstetrics & Gynecology – Postpartum and Wards): *2 * Women’s Health (LDR): *1 * Outpatients: *1 *Requirements: * * Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the UK, with a minimum of 5 years’ hospital experience, post qualification, with a minimum of 2 years in a senior role. A Masters Degree will be desirable. * You will have advanced clinical knowledge and a demonstrable track record in improving patient outcomes. * You will accurately assimilate and interpret clinical information about the patients’ condition, instigate appropriate remedial action and promptly report changes. * You will ensure that Clinical Guidelines are implemented and be actively involved in auditing practice in conjunction with the Matron. * To act as a team leader to an identified group of staff, monitoring and documenting the development of their clinical skills. * To ensure that practice is evidence based and develop policies and protocols as required within the clinical area. * To ensure that patients and their relatives are updated regularly with accurate information and ensure that this is presented in a sensitive way and one that they understand. * Interested candidates MUST be open to relocating to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the role is based. * Credentialing Requirements: Must hold an active nursing license with a minimum of three year’s acute care (hospital based) work experience, post registration of license. *Benefits: * * Competitive tax free salary * Paid Annual leave and CME days * Annual Airfare ticket allowance * Comprehensive Medical Insurance and Life insurance * Multicultural working environment and British Healthcare System (NICE guidelines) - Western trained/ qualified Physicians and Nursing Leadership * Sunshine all year around Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Education: * Bachelor's (preferred) Experience: * hospital based: 3 years (preferred) * nursing licence (preferred) Work remotely: * No

What does a Charge Nurse do?

A Charge Nurse manages a ward or unit (such as the cardiology unit) while working their shift. They oversee all the nursing functions during their shift, including processing patients’ admissions and discharges. They are also responsible for delegating nursing rounds and for administrating drugs to patients. They are responsible for the coordination between Nurses, Physicians and Hospital Administrators. Similar to other Nurses, they are also responsible for the general care of the patients.


Charge Nurse skills and qualifications

Charge Nurses need a combination of clinical experience, communication and leadership skills. A successful Charge Nurse candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to fulfil their duties, these typically include:

  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Familiarity and knowledge of hospital safety procedures and practice
  • A high level of self-motivation and adaptability
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work autonomously and as part of a team
  • An interest in teaching and coaching Junior Nurses
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Customer service skills


Charge Nurse experience requirements

The seniority of the position, the size and type of ward or unit where the Charge Nurse works determine the experience required. Some employers may require candidates with at least four years of experience in nursing in a hospital or healthcare facility environment, together with a minimum of two years of experience in supervising Nurses. 


Charge Nurse education and training requirements

Candidates for a Charge Nurse position must be Registered Nurses and may have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. More senior Charge Nurse positions may require candidates to have a Master of Science in Nursing. Certifications in advanced cardiac life support, basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are necessary for Charge Nurse positions. Charge Nurses working in speciality units or wards may need to have additional certifications specific to the ward’s area of specialisation.


Charge Nurse salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Charge Nurse in the UK is £35,860 per year. The salary level depends on years of experience required, the company and its geographical location. 


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Charge Nurse job description FAQs


What areas of specialisation are there for Charge Nurses?

Similar to other Nurses, Charge Nurses can specialise in any of the following areas: cardiology, critical care, emergency and accidents and oncology. Each specialisation has its own educational and experience requirements.


What is the difference between a Charge Nurse and a Nurse Manager?

Both Charge Nurses and Nurse Managers supervise nursing staff. Charge Nurses focus on the supervision of Nurses performing nursing-related functions during their shift only. Nurse Managers also manage support staff working in their units, including Social Workers and Therapists. Nurse Managers also oversee budgets, management and other staffing issues. 


How can you make a Charge Nurse job description stand out?

To make your Charge Nurse job description stand out, provide details of the unit the Charge Nurse will oversee. You can also provide information on the size of the nursing team to be supervised by the Charge Nurse. The job description should include the preferred experience and qualifications for the position. The job description can also state if there are any travel requirements for the Charge Nurse to go to off-site meetings.


What should you look for in a Charge Nurse's CV?

Your candidates’ CVs must reflect experience and certifications in a specific area of speciality. For positions where the Charge Nurse manages larger teams, look for candidates with several years of experience in supervising or training of nursing teams. 

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