What's the difference between a charge nurse and a staff nurse? - page 2

Ok, what's the difference between a charge nurse and a staff nurse? Should charge nurses be paid more than staff nurses?... Read More

  1. by   susanmary
    What's the difference between a charge nurse and a staff nurse? Great question! Staff nurses function as charge nurses, have full patient loads, do not receive additional pay. Charge nurses (used to be called Assistant Nurse Managers) basically are responsible for the running of the floor in the absence(or presence?) of management, facilitate admissions and discharges, make out patient assignments, fill prescheduled holes and sick calls, function as a resource nurse to staff members, assist nurses who are "drowning," etc. The challenge facing a charge nurse is staffing. Have too much staffing and management is unhappy -- but boy, the patient care is great and nurses are satisfied. Have too little staffing, less patient care and the nurses are frazzled. Quite a bit of responsibility to bear -- trying to keep the status quo. Does anyone actually enjoy being charge nurse?
  2. by   duckie
    I am a charge nurse in a LTC facilty for the elderly. I am an LPN. My duties are to delegate assignments to my unit CNA's, QMA's and the other nurse if I have one with me. I take full responsibility for everything that happens, or doesn't happen on my unit of 42 residents. I do all admissions, deaths, incident reports, orders, etc. I also work an end of the unit, passing meds, doing treatments and routine documentations on 22 of the residents. I work lots of OT to be certain everything is completed and frequently follow my shift's staff, after our shift has ended, to check and see if all assignments were completed to proper standards. I am very picky and expect a lot but have a wonderful staff of CNA's. Even if the nurse with me is an RN, I am still the charge nurse on the unit and she takes her direction from me. Perhaps some RN's would not like that but most are professional and I have 20+ years of experience so they trust me and realize I know my job very well. I make $1.50 an hour more than the staff LPN's but cannot comment on the RN's salary, as experienced RN's make more than I do but I have heard from some new RN's that I make as much as they do, don't know this from seeing proof though. I cannot say I stay awake at night wondering who makes more money. I love what I do, I love my residents and have a wonderful staff to work for me. And a big bonus is that my husband frequently works on my unit as a QMA and I get to be his boss. That's always fun and we have a wonderful working relationship. Being married does not prevent me from doing my job. Last year I had to write him up on a med error. He took it like a real man....what a guy!
  3. by   susanmary
    Originally posted by Duckie:
    I am a charge nurse in a LTC facilty for the elderly. I am an LPN. My duties are to delegate assignments to my unit CNA's, QMA's and the other nurse if I have one with me. I take full responsibility for everything that happens, or doesn't happen on my unit of 42 residents. I do all admissions, deaths, incident reports, orders, etc. I also work an end of the unit, passing meds, doing treatments and routine documentations on 22 of the residents. I work lots of OT to be certain everything is completed and frequently follow my shift's staff, after our shift has ended, to check and see if all assignments were completed to proper standards. I am very picky and expect a lot but have a wonderful staff of CNA's. Even if the nurse with me is an RN, I am still the charge nurse on the unit and she takes her direction from me. Perhaps some RN's would not like that but most are professional and I have 20+ years of experience so they trust me and realize I know my job very well. I make $1.50 an hour more than the staff LPN's but cannot comment on the RN's salary, as experienced RN's make more than I do but I have heard from some new RN's that I make as much as they do, don't know this from seeing proof though. I cannot say I stay awake at night wondering who makes more money. I love what I do, I love my residents and have a wonderful staff to work for me. And a big bonus is that my husband frequently works on my unit as a QMA and I get to be his boss. That's always fun and we have a wonderful working relationship. Being married does not prevent me from doing my job. Last year I had to write him up on a med error. He took it like a real man....what a guy!

    Duckie: You have great attitude -- the nurses who work with you are fortunate -- so are the patients. You clearly portray nurses in a positive light -- kudos! Also, I cracked up regarding the incident with your hubby! Have a great day, although, with your outlook, I'm guessing that you have alot of them!!!!
    Sue
  4. by   PamRNC
    On my floor the charge RN is a floating assignment. If a manager is on they're usually charge. If a staff RN is selected as charge they may/may not have a pt load. With pts - the charge is a resource for RN or family questions (usually a senior RN). Without pts - the charge is a resource, does skin rounds (tracking ulcers & specialty beds), and helps the others with their assignments (orders, admission, codes, IVs, etc.) as needed. No extra pay, and so far as I know no extra accountability. Our AD has 24hr responsibility for the unit. Basically, I've always thought of the assignment as an extra pair of RN hands. Everyone has their own opinion, some like it some don't. Any big problems get handed to the manager covering or the nursing supervisor.
  5. by   Over-the-hill-Nurse
    At our facility we are assigned charge. Paid 2.00 more on the hour, are responsible for admissions, discharges, checking crash carts, checking doctor's orders, calling the docs, making assignments, staffing, are on the code team, and the rapid response team. All on top of taking a full assignment as well. Those of us that do charge weren't asked if we wanted to do it. I work critical care and it is alot of responsibility added to the already busy day of taking care of patients. The money sure isn't worth it. Just another way to save money for the facility.
  6. by   rn/writer
    On my unit, charge nurse is a position that rotates among nurses with approx three years or more experience. With rare exceptions, the charge does not take an assignment. The differential is $2.00 an hour.

    I cringe when I hear stories of nurses being expected to take charge with minimal experience, on top of a full assignment, and/or with no extra pay. More responsibility deserves more compensation. Period.
  7. by   JBudd
    I do charge in the ER. I am responsible for keeping the ER flowing, and coordinating care. I usually don't have a personal patient assignment. I have to keep track of the entire ER, not just one zone. I make the assignments, when a nurse gets a trauma stat or whatever requires her to be one to one I cover the rest of her patients. I assign rooms to patients, whether from triage or by ambulance. I check on charts to make sure orders are getting done, help out whenever someone gets backed up, be the second nurse when someone needs a second nurse in the room, start IVs, give meds if their nurse won't be able to anytime soon. The docs come to me if a patient needs to be moved from one room to another. If there is a problem with either a nurse or tech, I am responsible for either correcting or defending them. I liason with the house supervisor and with bed control to get admitted patients to the floors (although our unit clerk often calls bed control when we get orders). I get all the incoming calls from urgent care centers, the jail (both county and federal), or private docs who are sending someone over. Being that I work nights, I will often do transport (to inpt. rooms, Xray, etc.) becaue we don't have a transporter at night. I oversee the techs, make sure things get stocked, the crash carts are locked, the narc count is done. Some of it I delegate, some I do myself. I'll often do the triage note and assessment on ambulance patients if the nurse for that zone is busy. I back up the secretaries, put in orders if needed, look up labs when they're busy.

    Charge sees to all the little details that are everyone's job, so that they are noone's jobs: who makes sure all the peripheral jobs get covered that aren't direct patient care: as well as doing direct care when needed. It is multi-tasking to the max, hectic, and challenging. We get a little over $2 hour for it. I enjoy it, but not for 100% of my shifts, I like doing a patient load as well.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Holy cow, this thread got resurrected after it's over 7 years old!!
  9. by   Over-the-hill-Nurse
    Well I guess I am the guilty one who restarted it.... but isn't it amazing that after 7 years things haven't really changed that much in the amounts that nurses are paid to be assigned charge nurse? Actually, it is appalling to think that things haven't gotten any better for nurses over the last 7 years, and actually have gotten worse with heavier patient loads, more critically ill patients, short staffing, etc... It is disheartening to know that the pay isn't any better either!
  10. by   JBudd
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Holy cow, this thread got resurrected after it's over 7 years old!!
    sheesh, blushing, caught me on that one.
    :imbar:imbar:imbar

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