Charge Nurse already

  1. I graduated this past May, and started work in June on an Acute Geriatric medical floor. I've been off orientation for a month now, and have been in charge 2 nights so far. The first night wasn't too bad...I was with another new grad who is EXTREMELY helpful and understanding, and a traveler who has been a nurse for many years.

    However, last night, it was me, an LPN from day shift, a float LPN, and an RN from dayshift who only has a few more months experience than I do. Our 2 aides were also not regulars on our night shift. While the staffing was excellent, and we NEVER have 2 nurses on nights, I still felt very uncomfortable being the one in charge. Luckily nothing major came up, but it is a little scary that I am left in that position!

    When I got in, I knew it wouldn't be a great night, but I decided to put that aside, and said, I'm going to do my best, given the situation. And although I'm sure some mistakes were made, I know that my patients were all still alive and breathing at the end of the shift, with stable VS, and all their meds passed.

    Anyone else found themselves in this position yet?
    •  
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Piki
    Charge nurse one month out of orientation!? I don't know whether to be proud of you or be scared of where you work! I have to say, luckily, where I work we have alot of experienced nurses and I haven't seen anyone yet be in charge that doesn't have at least 2-3 years experience - on the unit.
  4. by   Indy
    Quote from MLSnewnurse
    I graduated this past May, and started work in June on an Acute Geriatric medical floor. I've been off orientation for a month now, and have been in charge 2 nights so far. The first night wasn't too bad...I was with another new grad who is EXTREMELY helpful and understanding, and a traveler who has been a nurse for many years.

    However, last night, it was me, an LPN from day shift, a float LPN, and an RN from dayshift who only has a few more months experience than I do. Our 2 aides were also not regulars on our night shift. While the staffing was excellent, and we NEVER have 2 nurses on nights, I still felt very uncomfortable being the one in charge. Luckily nothing major came up, but it is a little scary that I am left in that position!

    When I got in, I knew it wouldn't be a great night, but I decided to put that aside, and said, I'm going to do my best, given the situation. And although I'm sure some mistakes were made, I know that my patients were all still alive and breathing at the end of the shift, with stable VS, and all their meds passed.

    Anyone else found themselves in this position yet?
    When you are put in the position of being thankful that they're all alive and breathing, it's not a good thing. Being in charge too soon is heck on the new nurse, both in body and spirit. I know, I've been there, and it's not fun. It'll contribute to you needing a vacation sooner than you think.
  5. by   Nursebarebari
    I took charge 5 months after I startrd working. But in my case there were few well season nurses with me on the floor and I got all the support I needed.

    But 1 month after after orientation with no one to give you the support you needed is very dangerous. I won't do it.

    Good luck to you.
  6. by   RN1989
    This is becoming more and more common. It is also dangerous. Start documenting thing that occur each shift, staffing, nurses present, problems, questions, etc. You will need that documentation to prevent yourself from getting into trouble. I would also seriously consider looking for another job if you value your license.
  7. by   godhelpme
    I wouldn't keep that job. In my first nursing job I took charge almost every shift 2 days out of orientation as a new grad. When I look back...I realize everything those nurses around me did-I was the one in charge of the floor that night. Be careful and don't risk others around you or your license. There are lots of other nursing jobs out there.
  8. by   ElvishDNP
    Run, don't walk.
  9. by   nurse grace RN
    That is alot of responsibility for a new nurse. I think I would look elsewhere for employment. Good luck and God bless you!
  10. by   Zookeeper3
    Our facility seems to do that more and more. What we do have are excellent house supervisors and lead charge nurses who have no assignment and supersee about2-3 units. There is always someone there to answer questions a phone call or a few steps away. If your facility is set up like this, I see no problem with it (theoretically from a charge point of view, not a skill set).

    If there is no resource or someone to say "hey look at this would you?" Then you need your roller skates and a want add.
  11. by   catslave
    I was appointed as charge nurse after my orientation fresh out of nursing school and hated every minute of it. About a year later I took a staff position and have found it a much better fit for me over the past 2 years.
  12. by   yecart1
    I cannot even imagine being in charge at this point. On our Med surg floor you have to wait at least one year to orientate for charge nurse and then there are plenty of seasoned nurses to help.

    There's no way I could do it and feel good about it.
  13. by   Tweety
    Sounds like you're making the best of a bad situation. I was in charge after six months and it seemed to work out fine. Just know who your resources are and use them.
  14. by   Nurse Lulu
    I know how you feel...I got off orientation in may and was in charge by June..on a critical care unit..I pray no one codes.I have expressed my problems and no one cares because no onewants to be in charge. CAT

close