"So when you are off orientation and able to be in-charge..."

  1. Okay, so I am a soon to be grad. Been sending out resumes, going to interviews and such. Went to an interview at a LTC facility, interview went well, but as soon as I walked in the door to the resident units I was hit with the smell of urine....red flags start going up in my head....

    Toured the facility, it was okay, but certain wings you could tell were the heavy workload halls.

    Called back to meet with DON, she offers me a position and begins telling me I would orient on days for 2 weeks, then 2 weeks on nights. Once orientation was done and I was able to be incharge I would bump up in pay. Next red flag pops up!

    Wait....what was that part again about charge?? She tells me that once orientation is over I should be able to work in an incharge capacity. Oh yes, I should mention this would be a 30 patient wing to be in charge over.

    Um, Hello?? I WILL BE A BRAND SPANKING NEW NURSE! Yes I am a CNA, yes I have been in healthcare, but I know NOTHING when it comes to working as a nurse. I said I do not feel comfortable in accepting a position where it would be required of me to be incharge after 4 weeks of orientation. She then tries to tell me that all the nurses there have adapted quite well and I would learn quickly.

    I thanked her for her time and told her regretfully I did not feel I would be a good fit for her facility.


    SO.......do all LTC facilities do this to new grads?? I honestly dont know how I could be expected to know what I am doing after a 4 week orientation? My friends going into hospitals are telling me they will have 3-6 month preceptorships.

    Man, I was scared to death talking to this woman. I guess I just feel like that would have been asking to have my license taken away, and I haven't even gotten it yet!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't know but sounds bad to me. I think this happens in a lot of LTC and rural hospitals. It was done that way in the hospital where I started out after school. Rural setting, I was in charge 3 months after hire----STUPID of me to go for it. I made it, but if I had to do over again, would not have done it. I was no more capable of being in charge than a snowball has business "down below".

    Think it over carefully before taking on any job that tosses responsibility at you too fast. You were smart not to go for it.

    Personally, I would rather work on a med-surg floor and cut my teeth under experienced folks for a year or two before taking on something like this.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Nov 30, '06
  4. by   santhony44
    Quote from LoriRN2B


    I thanked her for her time and told her regretfully I did not feel I would be a good fit for her facility.



    You handled that just fine, and very professionally.

    Congratulations on being almost through school! :flowersfo :flowersfo
  5. by   RNsRWe
    I work in a hospital setting and was shocked to find that ANY new hire, new grad or not, was expected to at some point start preparing for charge. It's just not a popular position it seems (that part doesn't shock me). I was pretty clear that I was not ready for it, and would consider it after I felt comfortable in their policies, procedures and MYSELF as a new nurse! Newbies don't have the experience yet, obviously, to be a good charge; why set up for failure? So far, so good.

    And yet, another new grad has decided that she really wants to do it and can't wait to be "in charge of her nurses", lol....call me cynical, but I'm twice her age and can SEE the train wreck in her future for taking on too much too fast. C'est la vie!
  6. by   augigi
    I worked in a nursing home throughout my degree, then the day I got my license started being in charge. I did have another charge nurse on the other wing who was very supportive, and I already knew the facility etc and it was HARD - just the medication round of 30 residents - sheesh!

    I think it's just asking for disaster, although I did ok in the end.
  7. by   CoffeeRTC
    This is very normal for LTC..if you are an RN, you will most likely be in charge. I've found that the title charge nurse can mean a few different things in every facility. At the last place I worked LPNs were charge too.

    If you aren't comfortable..wise choice is to look elsewhere.
  8. by   SharonH, RN
    I was orientated to charge as a graduate nurse and this was in an acute care setting. I remember how inadequate and guilty I felt(for being inadequate). It took me several years to realize how wrong they were for putting me in that position but they acted like it was SOP and new grads everywhere did it and what did I expect? Good for you for recognizing that this is not the job for you.
    Last edit by SharonH, RN on Nov 30, '06
  9. by   user9876
    dumb question..... but what exactly is a charge nurse??

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