Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

First Advisor

Louise Schmitt

Second Advisor

Agnes A. Shoemaker


A head nurse is an administrator, a nurse clinician, and a teacher in a specified unit of nursing service, where she is responsible for the planning, coordinating, and rendering of quality nursing care given the patients assigned to her unit. Legally she is responsible, with al the individuals who work with her, to provide quality nursing service. She is expected to know the educational and instructional backgrounds of persons whom she supervises, and be appraised of their competencies so that she can make assignments that are commensurate with the worker's ability and the law.

In the Nursing Service Department of the hospital the organizational paln includes the director of nursing, assistant director of nursing, supervisor, head nurse, staff nurse, and nursing assistants.

"Head Nurse Routine" at St. Luke's Hospital is a job description of the head nurse used to identify the responsibilities and guide the head nurse and as a special tool in orientation of new head nurses.

This study concerns one facet of responsibility taken from the "Head Nurse Routine."