Questions: charge nurse & agency nursing

  1. Can someone explaing to me what a "charge nurse" is? I'm not a nurse, but still at the stage where I'm asking tons of questions & learning so I can make sure nursing is what I want to do with my life.

    Also, if you choose to work for an agency, where do you find them? Are there any websites that list various agencies? And what are your thoughts on working for an agency?

    Thanks!
    Kathy
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   renerian
    At the hospital I used to work at the charge nurse was in charge of noteing orders, facilitating those orders, sometimes rounding with docs, assigning admits and transfers, errands, float and regular staff scheduling for the unit and sometimes they had to take a patient or two which was always a challenge.

    renerian
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    Charge nurse duties vary tremendously depending on the facility or even the unit. When I charge in my unit, I carry a full patient load and serve as a resource for other staff. I round with the doc as well. My friend who works at another facility is also responsible for trying to replace staff if there are calloffs (ain't no WAY I will ever be held responsible for that - ENTIRELY too much to do - she doesn't have the time either, but that's another story.)

    Other places don't have the charge carry a patient load - she is a desk nurse who fields calls with the docs and notes off orders, watches telemetry, etc.
  5. by   purplemania
    Once you have a license the state board is obligated to share certain info with the public and you get tons of junk mail about nursing, including contacts from many agencies. It is prudent to work in a stable environment first while learning to be a nurse, then you will feel more comfortable (and be more marketable) as an agency nurse.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Agency nurses can be employees of agency, or may contract for positions with agencies as independent contractors (self employed). Nurses can choose local or travel assignments perdiem or for a period of time (ie FT x 13 weeks).

    It takes a lot of self confidence and experience to be a good, solid agency nurse....many won't hire a nurse until they have had at least 1 year nursing experience for that reason.

    The charge nurse SHOULD be the most experienced nurse on the unit. Sometimes they get paid extra. sometimes they do not. As mentioned, the job description varies a whole lot. Small facilities may call the administrative supervisor the 'charge nurse'. (something I have learned to beware of in my agency work...LOL!)

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