Background and Aim : The charge nurse role has received little attention in the nursing literature when compared with other nursing leadership positions. Although many hospitals have charge nurse position, there is a lack of clear guidelines concerning the role, competencies needed for optimum role performance, and criteria for evaluating performance. The aim of this study was to determine competencies necessary to be a successful charge nurse Materials and Method: A descriptive study was conducted by a questionnaire comprising basic data and charge nurse competencies. The questionnaire was designed based on the literature and 61 competency statements were grouped into the following six categories: clinical/technical, planning, organizing, staffing, directing/leadership and controlling/supervision. Marquis and Huston's framework of the management process model were used to categorize the competency statements of management. The census sampling method was used to recruit the subjects. The questionnaire was returned by 96 subjects including 66 charge nurses, 20 head nurses and 10 supervisors working in selected teaching hospitals in Arak city. Data were analyzed by SPSS 13 and descriptive statistics. Results: All competency items received mean scores of more than 4.05. The items controlling/supervision and directing/leadership were evaluated more important than staffing, planning, organizing and clinical/technical items. Conclusion: The results of this study provide guidelines for management development programs, training, and career planning for charge nurses, and can also provide guidelines for recruiting and selecting effective charge nurses.