I am the admission RN for my unit.
We recently decided to try something different, everybody took a turn trying out the role for a day or two, but I'm the only one who has stuck with it. (my idea-go figure:trout: ) I work 4 days 12pm - 10pm, try to get discharge paperwork and admissions done. Since we have computerized charting, when I get information about our pending admissions, I can set up the charts before they even get to the floor, and print out orders/medexes to have on hand when they arrive, order/collect any special equipment needed, etc. Our floor is a busy general surgery unit, so we get direct admits, ER admits and post-ops, as well as a few transfers from the ICUs/step-down units. One of the reasons I'm working the odd hours - we call it 'swing shift' - is so that I'll be available on the floor during change of shift report - that lovely time when the other floors feel it's safe to send a patient, or someone who wasn't having any pain when the district RN was available is suddenly in agony, now that he/she is in report. The patient's like it because for a few minutes they have my undivided attention, and the other RNs like it because I handle all the assessment and paperwork, troubleshoot any immediate problems or issues and basically when I hand over the patient to the district RN all they should need to do is say hi and here's your meds/tx/whatever.
I won't kid you - it can be a rough gig, Monday we got 12 admits that showed up almost 3-4 pts at a time, after discharging nearly as many people. I can't handle so many in a timely fashion, so the district RNs still need to assess some of their new arrivals, but not all. Even though I may not get to see all of them, I can usually set up the charts, and get the RNs the paperwork saving them a few minutes, here and there. Being a more experienced/technologically saavy RN I'm also available to help troubleshoot/problem solve and cover lunch breaks.
I'd love to hear what other places are doing and how they are using this kind of a role.