5 Roles Nurses Play in the Hospital

Aug 10, 2016

nurse treating patient

Nurses are among the most versatile players in the healthcare field. Not only are they expected to be well-versed in many fields of medicine, they are also expected to fill numerous roles in the hospital setting.

They are far more than caregivers.

What other roles do nurses play? When it comes to working with patients, nurses are also:


Patients are often uninformed when it comes to their treatment plans, their medications and their overall health (among other things). It is up to nurses to keep patients in the loop when it comes to their treatment. Patients expect nurses to educate them on the reasons for taking certain medications, why they are undergoing tests/procedures, and when they can be discharged.

When patients do not understand their treatment plans, they can become anxious, which has a negative effect on HCAHPS scores.

Point of Contact

Nurses are the primary point of contact between patients and their doctors and hospital administrators. Any immediate concerns or questions patients have are usually initially addressed with nursing staff, rather than the patient's doctor. Because of this, it is up to nursing staff to document patient concerns and address them when necessary.

Patient Advocates

Nurses are also the strongest advocates for patients. In order for hospitals to improve patient care and satisfaction, they rely on nurses to bring up and fight for the wants and needs of patients. If nurses didn't, hospital administrators would have no concept of how satisfied patients are with their care, and what they can be doing better.


It's a rather indirect role, but an important one. Patients choose the hospitals they visit based on their satisfaction of their stay. Because nurses spend more time with patients than any other member of a hospital's staff, they are essentially the hospital's greatest sales team.

Nurses have to constantly make sure that patients are satisfied with their stay as well as their care, otherwise the success of the hospital will suffer.


Finally, nurses are the eyes, ears and mouths of the hospital. Most communication runs through them, which is why they need the right tools to get the job done. Using hospital whiteboards, for example, allow nurses to effectively communicate with patients throughout the day. They can post daily medication schedules, discharge dates and questions/concerns right on a readily available board in the patient's room.

At VividBoard, our patient whiteboards can even be customized to the hospital's brand, colors and more. To learn more about our hospital whiteboards, download our IdeaBook for free today.