Charge Nurse so soon??

  1. Hey fellow new nurses is there anyone else out there who feels like they took a GIANT leap from student to RN? I work on a BUSY Neuro/Trauma floor at a level on Trauma Facility. I feel like I got a good orientation and everything and I was just starting to get used to being an RN and everything when one day I came in and was assigned to be charge nurse (yikes!) Since then I am catching on (I think), but I still feel like 4 months of experience as a nurse is not near long enough to be responsible for an entire floor! And on top of dealing with all the charge nurse "stuff" I still take 3 patients!
    Am I being a baby about this, or do you think I have a legitimate compaint? I would love any advice that anyone has... thanks.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   yippie
    I was put in that situation several times when I came to work I was the only full time RN that was working on the floor that night.
    and I was informed that I was charge nurse that night. Fortunately my fellow coworkers were good about anwering questions and I also work nights. I think it helps to trust other peoples thinking as well as your own. ask plenty of questions and also my facility has a charge nurse class that I will be attending soon.
    Good luck.
  4. by   finallyRN
    When I was first out of school I was also in a similar situation. I was the only full time RN on the floor I worked for several months. I was the one in charge of making assignments and assigning beds for admissions. At times this was stressful because I was having nurses look to me but i myself was a fairly new nurse. Now looking back as a more expereinced nurse I am very thankful for the experience. I learned alot about myself and how to be a better nurse.
    My advice to you is talk with your Nurse Manager about your concerns. Talk to the other nurses who work as charge nurses on your floor. Don't be afraid to ask the nurses working with you on your shift for their opinions in a difficult situation.

    Good luck!!!
  5. by   sharann
    Way too early for Charge! It's not that I think you are not a great nurse, you simply don't have the experience to be in charge. I think that it is horrible they are so pathetic to do this to you. Try to speak with someone about it. You are smart to question this.
  6. by   meownsmile
    I think this may be more common than most of us think. As new graduates we are assured we wont be put in the position that we are left to be the decision maker for the unit we work on for quite a while.
    I found myself in the same type situation a few weeks ago on a Saturday(I'm a May grad myself). The other RN was a per-diem that had only worked my unit a couple times prior. It had been 20 years since she had done any hospital nursing, spending most of her career in a clinic setting. She wasnt familiar with hanging blood, discharges to other facilities, or how to handle the patient load she had for the day.
    So not only did oncoming assignments, lunch assignments and things like that fall into my lap, I also had to walk her through some of her work plus tend to my own 10 patients. That was way to much for a "new" RN to do. I did fumble through it, did ok, but she ended up 2 hours over on her shift and the LPN working with her complained all day about how she didnt "feel safe" working that way. Which i totally understand.
    My point is I did it,, no major mishaps, and I proved to myself and my manager that i am competant to make decisions.
    So if you made it through,, pat yourself on the back and keep going. Maybe its just another little "test" we have to pass to convince ourselves and others we are competant.
  7. by   sjoe
    I think it is NOT too soon, and further that it is a good learning experience for you.

    Feel free to ask questions of anyone who might have good ideas for you. They know you are learning, too.

    Don't try to please everyone (especially the one staff member who will resent you and criticize whatever you do).

    Notice your various styles with different people in gaining their cooperation in working as members of a team, etc.

    Figure out what things you can do to make the shift work better, flow more smoothly, for everyone.

    Make sure everyone is pulling their own weight.

    Correct any mistakes or mis-judgments you make.

    Keep brief notes about the things that DON'T work very well, then think about them later to see what you can try differently next time.

    Aim to become the kind of charge nurse that YOU would like to work for.

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