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Resources > Best Practices > Effective Nurse Leader Rounding

Effective Nurse Leader Rounding


During nurse manager interviews on units, an identified best practice for the high performing HCAHPS units was evident: Effective Nurse Manager Rounding. It was determined that development of a standardized process was necessary across the health system, but successful deployment of a standard process across 10 hospitals and two states requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach.


The information from the unit reviews was shared with the Cleveland Clinic Nursing Institute Council, and the Office of Patient Experience facilitated a team to develop a standard nurse manager rounding process for the Cleveland Clinic enterprise. Cleveland Clinic’s Effective Nurse Leader Rounding team used the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” methodology to accomplish its objective. The team developed a consistent prior, during and post rounding process:

Prior to Nurse Leader Rounding

  • Explain the importance/rationale for patient rounding thoroughly to staff
  • Make the rounding experience your own. Keep the process consistent but utilize words you are comfortable with
  • Round with purpose. Be fully present for each patient, family member and/or visitor
  • Use this as an opportunity to identify two focus questions for areas that need improvement
  • Have all necessary materials with you (e.g. business cards, census, staff assignments, dry erase markers, etc.)
During Nurse Leader Rounding

  • Greeting/Introduction
  • Managing up staff (“You are in good hands with your nurse, ________.”)
  • Experience care questions (“What is important to you during your stay?”)
  • Exceptional staff recognition (“Is there anybody you would like to acknowledge that has been especially helpful?”)
  • Thank and close – offer business card (“Is there anything else I can do for you?”)
Post Rounding

  • Provide immediate feedback to staff. (Point out excellent behaviors or opportunities for improvement based on comments from patients/families)
  • Report major issues to nursing director
  • Provide ongoing feedback to staff

Several tactics and tools were employed to provide education and training, including involvement of senior leadership and two-hour workshops every other week over two months to allow the nurse leaders to network and learn from each other.


  • Better Management of Patient Expectations: the nurse manager has the opportunity to directly manage patient expectations and impact patient satisfaction
  • Increased Employee Engagement: Caregivers react positively to seeing leaders in their local areas. Rounding gives front-line staff members the opportunity to interact directly with nursing leaders.
  • Leadership recognition by caregivers and patients
  • Improved Quality of Care: Expected behaviors by front-line nurses are assessed daily and are immediately addressed