Thoughts on new grad being made charge?

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    What do you think? What would you do if you were the new grad?

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  2. 17 Comments...

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    I think it depends on the new grad? I was made charge as a new fad, but had been an lvn for years before that, and a CNA way before that. I was better equipped to do charge because I already knew how to handle the desk. I did have some haters but no one else wanted to do it.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
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    Depends on where and the staffing and what the role entails. And if they had been oriented to the charge role. Nurses fresh out of school still have all of their leadership classes fresh in their memory. Sometimes they can bring a fresh new perspective to a unit. Other times it is a "you are in charge" when it is mostly LPN's and CNA's (which in most acute care facilities, LPN's do not take charge roles).
    Personality speaking, some new grads have the gumption to be effective charge nurses. The ones who are not (and the ones who are "charge in name only") need support in that role. Ultimately, a new grad charge is taking her own responsibility for actions/inactions. And I am not sure as a new grad one would be comfortable with that without some orientation and support.
    nrsang97 likes this.
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    I agree that it depends on the new grad. Some are more mature (read 2nd career, old farts ) and have managing skills from past life experiences that some of the "fresh out of HS to NS" new grads don't have.

    At my place of work, I was charge on evenings/nights within 6 mos of graduation. The newer grads we have this year are Dec grads and I don't see them being ready to take on charge roles just yet.
    CharleeFoxtrot, nrsang97, and jadelpn like this.
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    I was put in charge on my first nursing unit because I was the only staff RN working that night. We had 3 scheduled but 2 called out. One was pregnant and lived in Canada (this was right after 9/11 and borders were closed) and the other was pregnant too and sick. I had no choice but to be charge. I was scared to death. I thought it would be a one time incident. It was not. I was pretty much right off orientation and had no idea what a charge nurse should do. I was just thrown into it.

    I don't think a new grad should be charge unless there is no one else to do it. If they have been given training and have other more experienced nurses for back up then it may be alright depending on the new grad. The key is to have some training for being charge, and someone more experienced to help.

    I have never ever been actually oriented to being charge anywhere. In the ICU I worked on there was a choice between me and another nurse. I had 5 years med surg experience and he had maybe a year of ICU experience. I was chosen and given the charge phone and told that I take ER patients before PACU patients, and that I did staffing at 2100 for nights and 0500 for days. That was it.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    What is your definition of "new grad." I don't think someone fresh out of orientation should be charge nurse. given maybe in some instanes they could handle it. Doubtful though.

    I've been a nurse for 2 years (1 yr on med-surg and 1 yr in CV-ICU). I'm not charge, ive never been asked to be charge. I am precepting though after 1 year. I think for a new grad i do pretty darn good as do my peers. I was actually taken off orientation early because i was ready for it. But i am NOT ready for charge nurse...no way, no thank you, not happening
  8. 1
    Quote from OCRN3
    I think it depends on the new grad? I was made charge as a new fad, but had been an lvn for years before that, and a CNA way before that. I was better equipped to do charge because I already knew how to handle the desk. I did have some haters but no one else wanted to do it.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    Don't you just hate that auto-correct? LOL....
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    I was charge on nights within 8 months of being licensed. Anyone who has a problem with what I do gets told "you can be charge any time you want." No takers, year and a half later!
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    A charge nurse is the resource person with their experience and knowledge. I for one wouldn't take a new grad "charge nurse" seriously and wouldn't go to them with an issue. We had new grads doing charge nurse for a night or so, and nobody would ask them anything, nobody would consult their knowledge or experience with an issue. So, I think a new grad has no place in being charge.
    onthemark and Fiona59 like this.
  11. 0
    I graduated, received a 5 day orientation, and was made charge nurse of a telemetry unit all in the same week. But that was in the 80's when there was a real shortage of registered nurses. I had never even worked in a hospital before, and I wasn't a CNA or LPN first. Scary, isn't it?


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