New nurse having TROUBLE charging

  1. Hi - I am an RN at a rural hospital in west Texas. I have been an RN for 2 1/2 years with no LVN or other nursing experience. My role is Charge Nurse on a med-surge unit. I have been working in this position for about 4 months and feel like I am sinking.

    Problems I am having:
    • negative talk among employees (we have had a rapid turnover)
      • one situation (just last week) was that one charge nurse that has quit over a month ago - came to the floor about 2am to talk with her "friends" - I felt very uncomfortable - the talk was negative to the point that I got up and engaged myself in some of my other responsibilities - This was a very seasoned RN that orientated me in my position - (we worked opposite of each other)
    • little or no assertiveness on my part
    • some nurses will argue with me - I back down... not wanting to engage in an arguement
    • as a "new" nurse - how do I establish trust among my team members?
    If there are any seasoned nurses that can offer ANY advise or materials that I can purchase on my own, I would certainly appreciate it.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   nightingale
    Quote from piknikie
    Hi - I am an RN at a rural hospital in west Texas. I have been an RN for 2 1/2 years with no LVN or other nursing experience. My role is Charge Nurse on a med-surge unit. I have been working in this position for about 4 months and feel like I am sinking.

    Problems I am having:
    • 1-
    • negative talk among employees (we have had a rapid turnover)
      • 2-
      • one situation (just last week) was that one charge nurse that has quit over a month ago - came to the floor about 2am to talk with her "friends" - I felt very uncomfortable - the talk was negative to the point that I got up and engaged myself in some of my other responsibilities - This was a very seasoned RN that orientated me in my position - (we worked opposite of each other)

      3-
    • little or no assertiveness on my part

      4-
    • some nurses will argue with me - I back down... not wanting to engage in an arguement
      5-
    • as a "new" nurse - how do I establish trust among my team members?

      6-
    If there are any seasoned nurses that can offer ANY advise or materials that I can purchase on my own, I would certainly appreciate it.

    Wow.. you have your hands full.

    Management is not for everyone. Trust takes time. What you seem to be having key issues with is lack of respect. I always like the idea of Modeling the appropriate behavior, partuclarly is there has been high turnover. You simply can not "make" someone be respectful.

    A lot of what you talk about is negativism. This trickles down, IMHO, from the top to the bottom. When allowed to continue is can wear you out more then a code a night. See how you can engage the other Team Members (day staff, human resources, day managers) to incorporate training and reinforcement of appropriate behavior. Do not sit there when this talk goes on unless you are assertive and can weld the conversation in a positive direction.

    # 2- Report this incident to the management team; this behvior and action is unacceptable.

    # 3 & 4 - Suck it up. Practice, what you are going to say. Be accurate, be prepared. It is NOT a battle. Conversation is dialogue back and forth and compromise (on occasion). Rules are rules; do not make i an argument but a statement. Smile.... when yo beleive in "it" and yourself so will the others and they will follow the leader. Become the leader and the solution maker

    There are probably oodles of classes and oppourtunites yet untapped for you. Again, get with your manamgement team and find out what they have. There are multiple course options available online. I have used Spectrum for years. I am sure they have management courses available; there are others that you will find with a little research.

    Good luck to you... let us know how you make out.
  4. by   augigi
    Hi - here is some info online: Learning to be Assertive

    Sounds like you could benefit from an assertiveness course. It's certainly hard to start being in charge without any training, isn't it?! There is a huge difference between being aggressive and being assertive, and you need to work on this. Backing down to avoid an argument doesn't fix anything. You should NEVER need to "argue" at work, however you can discuss things constructively as the nurse manager.

    "Fake it til you make it" is the maxim with management mostly. There are tons of courses which may be helpful, but you need to practise, practise, practise in order to get results. Leading by example and expecting the best of your staff are great goals.
  5. by   ceecel.dee
    Quote from piknikie
    I have been an RN for 2 1/2 years ...
    • little or no assertiveness on my part
    You have the experience...it assertiveness practice you need. Ask for advise/insight from those you hold in esteem. The catty/gossips...you can do without their input as it will just perpetuate that cycle.
  6. by   AfloydRN
    IN my charge nurse experience, I have found that ignoring the negative comments and doing a good job will eventually make them stop. As long as you are doing a good job- stand your ground. In the end... who cares about the gossip, you are there for the patients. I have learned you can never make everyone happy.
  7. by   subee
    Quote from piknikie
    Hi - I am an RN at a rural hospital in west Texas. I have been an RN for 2 1/2 years with no LVN or other nursing experience. My role is Charge Nurse on a med-surge unit. I have been working in this position for about 4 months and feel like I am sinking.

    Problems I am having:
    • negative talk among employees (we have had a rapid turnover)
      • one situation (just last week) was that one charge nurse that has quit over a month ago - came to the floor about 2am to talk with her "friends" - I felt very uncomfortable - the talk was negative to the point that I got up and engaged myself in some of my other responsibilities - This was a very seasoned RN that orientated me in my position - (we worked opposite of each other)
    • little or no assertiveness on my part
    • some nurses will argue with me - I back down... not wanting to engage in an arguement
    • as a "new" nurse - how do I establish trust among my team members?
    If there are any seasoned nurses that can offer ANY advise or materials that I can purchase on my own, I would certainly appreciate it.

    Google "books on nursing management" and you'll come up with several aids. Also, the popular business books on management that you see in the airports are easy to read and helpful. Its true that not everyone should be a manager, but why torture yourself when you might just need some education?
    You might be terrific. The first step is admitting you could use some help - right?

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