AIMS: To explore the experiences of senior charge nurses provided with 'increased supervisory hours'.
BACKGROUND: Designated supervisory time is essential for senior charge nurses to provide effective clinical leadership. It is important to explore the impact arises of such an increase.
METHODS: An online questionnaire collected exploratory data from senior charge nurses (n = 60). Semi-structured interviews gathered in-depth qualitative data (n = 12). Findings were analysed for common themes associated with implementation of the increased senior charge nurse supervisory role.
RESULTS: The majority of senior charge nurses were unable to use their full allocation of supervisory time. They struggled to accomplish leadership goals because of managing staffing levels, increased workload, time constraints and limited support. Factors that facilitated the role included preparation and support, adequate staff capacity, effective leadership skills and availability of supervisory time. The senior charge nurses took pride in providing clinical leadership, promoting staff development and delivering patient care. Support, in terms of preparation, capacity building and ongoing mentoring, was a key factor for achieving senior charge nurse goals.
CONCLUSION: Senior charge nurses should be supported to maximise supervisory time through the provision of an induction programme, formal coaching and ongoing training and development.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Preparation and support is essential for senior charge nurses to deliver enhanced clinical leadership through increased supervisory time.