The head nurse is a registered nurse who supervises the care of all the patients at a health care facility. The head nurse is the senior nursing management position in an organization and often holds executive titles like chief nursing officer (CNO), chief nurse executive, or vice-president of nursing. They typically report to the CEO or COO.
The chief nurse serves as "the head of the general staff of the hospital" and is obeyed by his/her subordinate nurses. Traditionally, head nurses were called matrons and wore a dark-blue dress that was usually darker than that of her subordinates, who were also known as sisters, in addition to a white-starched hat. As such, matrons usually "provide strong leadership and act as a link between Board-level nurses and clinical practice.
In military hospitals of the United Kingdom, matrons were "charged with the responsibility of making twice daily rounds to supervise the [common] nurses duty performance.