Charge nurse.

  1. This question is for everybody. How long were you a nurse before you started to charge?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   jbp0529
    About a year before I was put in charge. They gave me several shifts to orient to the charge position with someone else.

    There always has to be at least 2 charge capable RNs on at one time in case of emergencies, unexpected events, and as a resource for the acting charge nurse (sometimes two heads are better than one when issues come up).

    Charge nurses on my unit don't take a patient assignment unless there is a major staffing issue, in which case we usually call our NUM or assistant NUM to come in and staff (however when that happens they usually pull rank and put us into staffing and take over being charge).

    But just because the charge RN's on my unit dont take pt's doesn't mean we sit back and hang out. Our responsibilities include: carrying the rapid response team beeper, being a resource for the rest of the staff, helping with new admits, turning, bathing, traveling, order entry if we don't have a unit clerk, plan the staffing for the next shift, balancing the staffing numbers for the current shift based on the staffing grid, doing little busy-work assignments like stocking rooms and organizing things, .... Sounds like alot, and it is, especially for only an extra dollar an hour :-) Sometimes I feel more tired after a night of doing charge than if i took an assignment.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from pani
    this question is for everybody. how long were you a nurse before you started to charge?
    [font="comic sans ms"]is this a poll? or are you asking for a particular reason?

    i had been a nurse about a year on a medical floor before i started to charge. in critical care, it seems to be about two years, although i really think 3-4 years would be better if possible.

    when i started my job in boston, though, there were new grads who were pulled out of the hospital orientation class at 0900 and told "you, you and you. go home and get some sleep. you're working tonight, and you're in charge."
  5. by   CCURN
    3 months after graduating, and that was in the UK
    One year on Telemetry
    3 years on CCU
  6. by   nrsang97
    My first night in charge was shortly after Sept 11th. Both nurses that I worked with called in. One called in sick, and the other was from Canada and couldn't cross the border. I live in Detroit and many nurses come and to the Detroit area and work. So needless to say I thought I might end up being on a 32 bed unit by myself. I was working with a staff pool nurse and a nurse from another floor. Everything was alright but I was scared to death!. Now being in charge is no biggie eventhough I hate it. I was only on my own for a month at that time. I left that facility and have worked for another system for the last 2 years. I was usually in charge every weekend and when regulat charge was off or on vacation. I have since with the same system transferred to another one of their facilities and I now work the Neuro ICU. I hope that I am not in charge anytime soon.

    I am also curious why you are asking. If they are having you be in charge make sure you have someone orient you to the position.
  7. by   Nurset1981
    I was in charge about 2 months out of school. The only reason I took it was beacause I worked there for a year as CNA prior to taking over 3-11 harge. Looking back it would have been nice to wait a while.
  8. by   am17sg05
    i became a charge nurse in my present job after my 3rd day off orientation.i was very nervous.i just thought that time that i am not a fresh grad nurse and i will make it.trying to convince myself...
  9. by   Tweety
    Six months, but not critical care.
  10. by   pugg
    I started charging my second day off of orientation. It really sucked but I guess I did okay...I think it really depends on the size of the hospital and the patient load as to whether or not this is okay. In a critical care unit I don't feel it would be appropriate right off. Other than that, might as well jump in and get after it!!!!!!! There is no better teacher than experience.
  11. by   sscathlab
    I started to charge 9 months after I graduated from school. The Texas Board of Nurses now states that a new grad can not charge for 6 months after they have graduated; It seems to put less pressure on new grads that way.
  12. by   trebor1
    One strange question - what`s a "charge nurse"? No charge nurse in my country.
    Is it something like head nurse or shift leader?
  13. by   dorimar
    I'm shocked at those who would take the charge role 1 to 3 days off orientation. You're really confident.
  14. by   AfloydRN
    The day I got my RN I worked in the ER( lpn). When the assignment was made out for day shift I was told- Congrats- You are now in charge!

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