Change of Shift Huddle

The Best Way To Start Each Nursing Shift

In the Nurses First Change of Shift Huddle, the off-going shift welcomes and hands over the unit to all oncoming staff as the first act of every shift. The out-going charge nurse gives a 3-minute structured presentation to the entire on-coming shift, handing over the unit as if it were a patient.

Our structure is warm, professional, and brief — setting a positive tone for the upcoming shift.

It’s the most professional, efficient team meeting you’ll see anywhere in the hospital and it all starts with a free 1-page form.

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Start your shift as a team.

On units without a Change of Shift Huddle, nurses may start each shift less like a team and more like a group of individuals running around. It can take most of the shift to really gel as a team, and by that time, the shift is almost over.

On other units the huddle can last for 10 or 15 minutes, becoming a staff meeting — and no one wants to start each shift with a staff meeting.

A well-organized Team Huddle can set a positive tone for the upcoming shift and rally a team together. Every nurse gets a chance to start the shift with a feel for the unit as a whole, to see each other, and to hear meaningful details about patients with greater care needs.

Hear the difference yourself

Why Nurses Like It

Frequently Asked Questions

Change of Shift Huddle is the first process at the start of each shift. It’s a 3-5-minute structured presentation prepared and given from a member of the outgoing shift to the entire oncoming shift. Think of Change of Shift Huddle as a way to give staff and the unit itself the same respect we give our patients.

The Nurses First version of Change of Shift Huddle happens precisely at the start of every shift and hands over the unit in a way that connects us psychologically, intellectually, and emotionally. By starting at a regular time, Change of Shift Huddle facilitates timeliness and can help reduce tardiness and incremental overtime. On successful Nurses First units, hospital executives who pop-in occasionally to observe a Team Shift Huddle are likely to remark that they’ve seldom seen a more positive, professional, and efficient face-to-face meeting in a hospital.

Change of Shift Huddle “reveals” information that all staff should know and sets a positive tone for the upcoming shift. There are 4 areas covered:

Team: Who’s the charge nurse today? Who’s the unit clerk? Who are all the nurses and techs? In short, who are our colleagues and resources for this shift?

Environment: What’s the census? Any pending admissions? What was the feel on the previous shift? What went well? What could have gone better?

Advocacy: Which patients have specific care issues to highlight? Which patients have safety issues everyone should know about? Which patients and families are requiring extra emotional support? Who needs interpreter services?

Motivation: What will be the quote – the piece of wit or wisdom – that will help warm, inspire, or set the mood for the oncoming shift?

Huddle Sheet Download

Grab a copy of our Change of Shift Huddle template