For those who are looking for a challenging and rewarding career in the healthcare field,
becoming a nursing unit clerk may be the right choice. This position originated back
during World War II out of the need to alleviate the demands being placed upon the
nursing staff who were overwhelmed with their patient responsibilities and administrative
The position of the nursing unit clerk enabled nurses to have more time with their
patients and bedside. The nursing unit clerk's primary responsibilities involved relaying
messages from physician to nursing staff, handling communication between the various
departments and managing the non-clinical tasks of the department.
Type of Work
Nursing unit clerks are expected to perform a wide array of clerical tasks in order to
ensure that the hospital operations run smoothly. Nursing unit clerks process physicians
orders including those for medications, activity, parenteral therapy, nutrition, social work
and home care. They prepare charts for pre and post operative diagnostic tests and
respond to calls. They organize and gather data for various types of reports, and keep
track of patient charts encompassing the time they check in until discharge.
Nursing unit clerks are the ones who coordinate patient admissions and transfers, and
maintain medication files. They are expected to be proficient in data entry and various
A Program Right for You?
Not everyone is cut out for the position of nursing unit clerk. The work can be highly
stressful at times and often requires individuals to be able to juggle a variety of different
tasks at the same time. This position requires the ability to be able to perform under
pressure and to be able to work autonomously without a lot of supervisor management.
If you are skilled at being able to organize, prioritize, meet deadlines and take initiative,
however, than this may very well be the right career for you.
There is a steady career outlook projected for nursing unit clerks. The job openings for
this position are expected to grow just as fast as the average, at about 10 to 20 percent.
This role is integral to the smooth functioning of hospital operations and an essential
component of the healthcare team. Skilled clerks who meet the requirements and pass the
employment testing will find work available in various facilities.
Employment statistics are promising for qualified candidates and nursing clerks are not
going to fall out of demand any time in the expected foreseeable future.