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In the U.S., registered nurses (RNs) comprise the largest healthcare occupation with nurses in various specialties and work settings holding approximately 2.6 million jobs. RNs generally have a bachelor’s degree, associate degree or diploma from one of the approved nursing programs. The role of an RN house supervisor is to supervise the nurses under the individual’s shift or serve as a single departmental supervisor depending on the policy of the facility in question.
The house supervisor’s role includes primarily dealing with patient care issues, staffing matters, supervision of the nurses and staff and handling administrative responsibilities. A supervisor in this position is ideally required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, RN certification and three to five years of field experience. The position is mainly one of supervision, leading and directing a team of nurses and other staff in their duties of patient care and related work.
A house supervisor is required to coordinate and maintain the level of quality patient care expected by the institution. This goal is achieved through effective management of the nurses and staff who provide patient care during the supervised shift. The house supervisor assumes leadership in the absence of the chief nursing officer. The role is one of authority and responsibility and entails arranging staffing schedules, directing patient care and making administrative decisions.
The house supervisor role is a highly energized and self-motivated one. The individual has to adapt swiftly and work in changing situations. In this role, the house supervisor is required to serve as an administrative representative of the hospital; function as an effective public relations person inside the hospital and outside as well. The house supervisor also serves as a representative for the staff, acting as liaison between management and medical staff.
In this role, the house supervisor performs other duties that include: the allocation of patients though out the entire facility; allocation of staff; assisting with emergency situations in various departments as they arise; covering the facility to perform administrative leadership and management during weekends and holidays as needed; ensuring departmental and institutional standards are maintained; ensuring objectives and policies are followed to exacting standards and interacting with administrative staff in other facilities and regulatory agencies.