Charge nurse with less than a year RN experience???!! - page 5

Recently one of the nurses I work with began training to be charge on our 30-bed (very busy!) med/surg unit. But here's the kicker - while she's very pleasant to work with....it hasn't even been a year yet since she graduated... Read More

  1. 1
    Quote from prettyladie
    well i say congratulations to her. im sure she can go to orientation and she will be fine. just because she hasnt been a nurse long doesnt mean she cant develop the skills that is necessary for the job. obviously someone didn't want the job and or she was who they wanted. why arent you being asked to become charge nurse. say something if you are that mad but i doubt you will.
    your last statement made laugh out loud, that you would presume that nothing has been said and that you "doubt" i will. as a matter of fact, i spoke my thoughts to the nurse manager last week as soon as i found out, long before posting my vent on here. i was thanked for my concern, told that i was actually the second person to come to her with the same concerns, and that was that. plus remember, i stated in the original thread that she only oriented once. it's not a matter of being "mad"; it's a matter of being concerned for our patients.

    i have no doubts in this individual's organization skills as far as making assignments and coordinating. it is her clinical experience i don't trust...not because he isn't great at what she has done, but because there is a slew of things she hasn't done or even seen. i still consider myself a "new nurse" (although now with more experience than this young lady), and i need to be able to go to the nurse in charge and give her my scenario, ask what she thinks, which sometimes i feel like i do often! until now, our charge nurses have all had adequate experience in nursing, have "been there done that", and i know i can trust their assessment and advice.

    in my unit, no one is "forced" to be charge nurse. we can volunteer, or we are asked, and the choice is ours. we're not at a shortage for charges, so i'm not even sure why she could have been asked. possibly she volunteered for career advancement (which is great), but i'm surprised mgmt would agree at this point so early in her career. it just seems very dangerous for our unit.
    pagandeva2000 likes this.

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  2. 2
    Just my two cents here....I would look out for yourself as a licensed practitioner, and of course your patient's well being first. This is a prime example of why I left the hospital setting. The suits in the nice, cushy admin jobs, nurses or not, have forgotten about the rest of their nursing colleagues, the conditions under which they work, and the sacrifices they make every time they take assignment. Do they really consider patient safety? or maybe they just need a licensed "body" to fill the position. I have refused a couple charge positions. It is HUGE responsibility, and the implications can be downright perilous if a person is in over their head. Look out for yourself, your patients, and YOUR license. The facilities will do what it takes to cover themselves, even if it means feeding you to the lions. CYA. Sorry it sounds jaded, but I have seen it before, and it left a bad impression.
    pagandeva2000 and MAISY, RN-ER like this.
  3. 1
    It's not new, it's all about money and her willingness and everyone else's unwillingness.

    Not sure what you should do except go to more experienced nurses, not her, if you need help and think she can't give it.

    did you want the job?
    sparketteinok likes this.
  4. 0
    We can't be oriented into a charge position for one year where I work. This is set in stone and works well for us.
  5. 0
    I oriented to charge on an inpatient MH unit at 7 months of experience. (I had 25 years of prior MH experience as a non-nurse.) I am not qualified by policy to work charge on another service line. I think that as in everything it depends on prior experieces and acquired skills. I know I have learned a lot more about my staff role through my service as a charge nurse. The worst part about charge is balancing patient assignments by acuity and nurse preference/skills for working with patient populations.
  6. 1
    I agree with the OP that this is not a good idea. I say this from the perspective of someone who was put into a similar situation. My employer didn't post my job as a charge position. I found out what I'd be doing once I had started orientation. I'm sure the hospital was leaping for joy when they suckered me into it, because we're union. You start at the scale that matches your experience. Therefore, I was getting paid what a nurse of 1 year made, plus a whopping 1.25 an hour charge pay.

    I got far less orientation than most people got. I had staff that wouldn't cooperate and doctors that gave me a hard time because I was young, female and inexperienced. Not saying I blame anyone for being PO'd because it was a bad situation for everyone.

    I feel badly for the woman in the OP(the new charge nurse) because I can pretty much guarantee you that she has no clue what she is in for...I'm quite sure administration is just going to throw her to the wolves and they are painting a pretty picture for her right now that will nowhere match reality. I feel badly for the staff, who will pretty much be along for the bumpy ride and I feel bad for the patients because someone may very well get hurt.

    In my case, it was a mutual decision to have one of the more experienced nurses take the phone during the busiest part of the schedule..I still do charge but when it's quieter and there are less players involved. This way, I get to go into a room and circulate/scrub which is the part of my job I love the best. I get experience under my belt. All I know is, I in no way got compensated fairly for the crap I put up with when I had the phone the whole shift. The only ones who made out were the administrators.

    I'm a good nurse and an intelligent person. I have critical thinking skills..but experience needs to go hand in hand with intelligence and critical thinking.

    Oh and I forgot to mention, not only was I expected to run the board, but I was expected to circulate a room at the same time! This meant that I could be in the middle of checking blood with anesthesia, moving a patient, doing counts, and the secretaries at the desk would get angry if I didn't answer within 3 rings!?! I was expected to be psychic when it came to the staff..meaning I was supposed to know what was going on in every other room while I was circulating and in some cases, scrubbed.

    Sheesh, this post turned into a rant! Very therapeutic though!
    Last edit by GadgetRN71 on Mar 14, '09
    Scrubby likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from Prettyladie
    so there has never been charge nurses who have done great with no experience?
    "Great" in the eyes of administration and "great" in the sense of safe patient care are 2 completely different things. The PTB in most cases are so far removed from patient care that they wouldn't know decent care if it bit them in their butts.
    canoehead likes this.
  8. 0
    I feel that all the administrators, nurse managers and director of nursing only care about patient satisfaction. I had to sit for four hours and listen to how are patients have become "customers" We have to give them whatever they want. It is becoming ridiculous. We don't follow doctors orders anymore, we follow patients orders and if we tell them no, we get in trouble for not calling the doctor about some ridiculous request. I think the doctors are tired of it. I feel sometimes the charge nurse is their to solve some of these problems if she has time. It can be overwhelming for a new nurse to have to deal with all the complaints. What it really comes down to is making the nurses happy then everyone, including the patients would be happy with the care.
  9. 0
    The first job I had out of nursing school was as charge nurse on 3-11 of a 42 CV pre and post op floor. This was 31 years ago so a lot has changed. It was easy most of the time but I had worked there as a student so making the transition was easy.

    Being charge now would be hard for any new grad. The responsibilities now are just to high to have someone who is so inexperienced. I would be interested to know the history behind this decision. Was the position posted? Did others apply? Is this a full time position for her or just a relief position? Are there other nurses on the shift who have more experience that want this position? More info please. Just curious.
  10. 0
    Quote from diane227

    being charge now would be hard for any new grad. the responsibilities now are just to high to have someone who is so inexperienced. i would be interested to know the history behind this decision. was the position posted? did others apply? is this a full time position for her or just a relief position? are there other nurses on the shift who have more experience that want this position? more info please. just curious.

    the position wasn't posted. we had plenty of nurses charging, and to my knowledge, none of them are leaving. i was shocked when i found out, as were others when the news spread. unknown if it's a full time position or just for relief, but we choose our own schedules so those that charge are also able to choose which dates they wish to charge. most choose to charge every time they work (hence why there hasn't appeared to be a shortage). there are definitely other nurses on the shift that have more experience, but i don't know if any of them want the position. this individual truly is the newest and least experienced of those of us that work her shift.

    i've since heard a rumor that the young lady was asked if she would like the responsibility. as word spread, some of the other nurses have said that they weren't asked. all of this is why it's so baffling! i just keep thinking, why this, why that? (no, and despite what others may think about it being some sort of jealousy on my part, i was not asked but if i had, i would have declined, based on the fact that i don't feel i have adequate experience for such responsibility! i'm just truly concerned with patient safety and well-being).


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