How much experience before being charge nurse - page 2

by babysteps25 | 4,488 Views | 18 Comments

I just surpassed my one year mark last week, so technically not my first year anymore but I still feel very much like a new grad so I hope I am welcome to keep posting here for a long time! I was just wondering how much... Read More


  1. 0
    New RNs on my floor usually work as charge after about 6 months on the floor.
  2. 0
    Quote from kChoRN
    Here's some more questions I would ask myself if I was in your shoes. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but I'm sure you're getting really incredible experience with such stress. If you're dealing with it well, I'd hazard to guess you're heads and shoulders above many people your peers b/c of how much you've had to deal with on your floor.

    1) Are you ACLS/PALS qualified? Can you lead a code team in the absence of the ICU, ED Charge Nurse or Physician?
    2) Do you feel ready to handle delegation, assignment changes, enforce regulatory standards like isolation protocols?
    3) Do you want to give up taking care of just 4-8 patients by yourself and miss out on the continued experience at the direct bedside role?

    Just those three things are points I thought about when reading. Whatever happens, I wish you the best! I used to work on a toxic floor as a PCA before becoming an RN. I know how it feels to work in an environment like that and it's never easy. My benefit was that we had excellent first line leaders (the Charge Nurses). Maybe you can be part of the solution for your floor and be that awesome leader that the floor needs!
    Wow when I have charge I have a full pt load (5) and charge lol no lack of bedside care here. I'd love to just be charge and have no pts often own
  3. 0
    Where I work, the charge nurse on nights always takes a full load of patients, sometimes 1 less but that rarely happens. We are responsible for making the assignments, assigning admits/transfers to the nurses and accepting patients from the supervisor when they call stating they need a bed. Sometimes I will refuse an assignment, like one time when the supervisor called with a pediatric patient (forgot how old, pre-school age, I think) who OD'd on clonidine but unsure on how much. Pt was bradycardic and slightly hypotensive. I questioned this and said the patient should probably be shipped out to the PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL 30 minutes away.

    Along with that, the charge nurse is also responsible for checking the crash carts and for damage control/putting out fires. They also serve as a resource person on the unit.

    I was thrown into being charge with just a few months of experience, then after I got more experience (over a year) they slowly starting making me charge again. Now I'm almost always put in charge when I work, even when I am working with nurses with a heck of a lot more experience than me (um, 2 years vs. 20+ years?). We get paid extra to be in charge, but sometimes it just isn't worth it.

    Sometimes I feel like ALL I do (aside from caring for my patients) is put out fires all night.
  4. 0
    I also wanted to add that in Ohio, they required at least 2 years of experience before being charge. At least at the hospitals I worked/had clinicals at.
  5. 0
    I started being rotated through charge on nights after a year, I think it was. We have an official charge nurse class but I never took it.
  6. 0
    I get a whole 50cents more/ hr to be charge. Totally not worth it to me.
  7. 0
    Quote from obizyanka
    I get a whole 50cents more/ hr to be charge. Totally not worth it to me.
    For us, it is $1. I agree, some nights it just isn't worth it. At all.
  8. 0
    Our charge nurses don't take patients, they just changed the policy. It has made a world of difference.
  9. 0
    It was about 15 months for me before I was put into the charge role... they needed someone for the weekends, and I'm a weekender. I am not *always* charge, which is a relief - becuase I LOVE bedside care.

    We do carry one to two patients as Charge nurse, but they are "charge" patients, and are typically super easy, little to no meds, etc.


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