Managers Supporting a Nurse New to Nova Scotia in the Charge Nurse Role

I am the manager of an international nurse who is new to Nova Scotia. The nurse has passed the NCLEX exam and has been issued a practising licence. Can the nurse be assigned to the charge nurse role?

Nurses new to Nova Scotia (NS) and the NS health care system have unique needs and require your support to be successful in any designated role within your practice context, including the charge nurse role. Supportive practice environments are integral for new nurses to feel welcome, safe, valued, respected and nurtured to provide safe, competent, and ethical health care.

As a manager, you have an accountability to promote quality practice environments that support staff to develop leadership qualities. It may be unrealistic to expect the nurse to take on a charge nurse role immediately. Instead, you can support the nurse to build their competence and confidence so they can eventually assume the charge nurse role.

Consider engaging in the following actions as you support the nurse to develop their competence and confidence:
  • Encourage informal opportunities for the nurse to grow their leadership and confidence before offering a formal leadership opportunity.
  • Provide specific charge nurse education and professional development through orientation, in-service education, and mentorship programs.
  • Encourage and support experienced charge nurses to mentor the nurse as they begin to assume this role.
  • Provide clarity about the responsibility and accountability of the charge nurse role, ongoing constructive feedback, and formal evaluation processes.
  • Promote an environment that encourages nurses to pose questions, engage in reflective practice, and ask for assistance without judgment.
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For further information on anything contained within this practice support tool, please contact an NSCN Practice Consultant at

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