Charge nurse with less than a year RN experience???!! - page 11
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... Read More
Aug 19, '10I totally agree with you. Your charge nurse should be someone who has been there, done that, and can help you when things come up. I recently quit at a facility where the DON just graduated in May of 2009, and went straight to being the DON. It was hard because I've only been a nurse for 2 years, and she would constantly come to ME with questions...basic stuff that she should know. She's a very nice person, but in my opinion, has no business being in a position like that until she herself has worked the floor. I think it's bad practice.
Aug 19, '10I was asked to train for charge in a large OR. I did have some charge experience at some other hospitals that I had worked in previously. I wasn't excited about doing it, but I understood the reasons they gave me. They also told me that I would be trained along with 4 other nurses. That did not come to fruition. They thought that since I had gotten the swing of things relatively quickly, they would just have me do it instead of training more nurses. That did not sit well with me because that was not the deal when I agreed.
When I was in training, I was trying to make sense of a real mess that I was presented with. There were 4 people waiting to talk to me. I felt frustrated, angry and terribly inept. The charge nurse training me sat behind me with her arms crossed. When one of the Team Leaders asked her what she was doing, she laughed and said that she was "just watchin' the drama." That REALLY cooked my goose! How about being supportive?!?
Good organizational skills and mediation skills are the best tools you can have while being charge. Yes, experience matters a great deal and I completely understand where you are coming from: the charge nurse should be your go-to person. I would lay the blame squarely on management's shoulders for that decision. That poor nurse!
Charge nurse duties entail sooooo much that others don't see. You have to manage EVERYTHING that goes on, and you must do it while some are questioning your ability, giving you attitude, and generally being nasty. They have no idea that you as charge are looking at the entire picture while they just see a snap-shot. It is not easy. I thought they would have to cart me off in a straight jacket my first month as charge!
Aug 19, '10Quote from juliannaUTIt is difficult to have respect for a manager that does not have the experience or the skill that you yourself possess. It IS bad practice!I totally agree with you. Your charge nurse should be someone who has been there, done that, and can help you when things come up. I recently quit at a facility where the DON just graduated in May of 2009, and went straight to being the DON. It was hard because I've only been a nurse for 2 years, and she would constantly come to ME with questions...basic stuff that she should know. She's a very nice person, but in my opinion, has no business being in a position like that until she herself has worked the floor. I think it's bad practice.
Aug 19, '10When I was a new grad I was fortunate enough to have gone to work in a hospital where I did part of my training. In addition, I had worked at that hospital as a CNA for a year before graduation. During my first job, on a 42 bed post op CV floor I was charge on 3-11. We were staffed with 2 nurses, 2 CNA's and a unit secretary for 42 patients. But things were quite different then and nursing was not nearly as complicated as it is now. I do think that there are people who come along in our profession who have a natural talent for management. The unit where I have worked for the last 5 years was also a large medical surgical unit and I was the charge nurse on 3-11. I have multiple years of management experience and it was sometimes overwhelming for me.
Were I her manager I believe that I would insist that she have a few more years of nursing experience under her belt. This young nurse many have had some management experience in another field before she became a nurse. But the fact is that at a year you do not have the skill and expertise to deal with all you will have to deal with in regard to patient care issues, assignments, staffing, emergencies, customer services issues, etc. And given her circumstances, she is going to meet with a lost of resistance from the staff.
You have a couple of choices here. You can complain to your manager about this and ask her for some reasons behind her decision. You can choose to talk behind her back about what a bad decision this is and try to undermine her at work. Or you can sit back, do your best, offer her support and see how it goes. This young nurse might step up to the plate and to a great job. You don't know until she is given a chance. I have seen a few nurses who were able to do it with great success. Myself, I would say congratulations, let me know if I can help, and keep doing my work, and see how it goes. If she is going to fail, she will do it on her own. This is the perfect opportunity to help a co-worker be successful, even when we don't like the circumstances.
Sep 24, '10Sounds ridiculous to me! I believe a charge nurse should have at least 3 years experience on the unit they are charging!. Accepting this role as a new nurse is incredibly stupid. Hmph.
Sep 24, '10Everyone has met and/or worked with one. You say her name any where in the facility and the other person ;says OHHHH YEAH she needs to go away and stay away......
I think management is negligent and actually takes a "chance" that things will stay quiet with her in charge (never happens...this nurse lives for DRAMA) and I think that the nurse herself is just asking for trouble (likes the thrill). I honestly think the hallmark of a problem nurse is obvious when staff begins to book the opposite schedule (comments such as "I can't work with her"....God be present and be helpful tonight.
Nov 12, '10no matter how smart and pleasant she is, she doesn't have the experience. I wouldn't feel safe having her as my charge nurse.
Nov 12, '10Quote from juliannaUTOMG, are you serious? How could they hire someone with so little experience as DON?I totally agree with you. Your charge nurse should be someone who has been there, done that, and can help you when things come up. I recently quit at a facility where the DON just graduated in May of 2009, and went straight to being the DON. It was hard because I've only been a nurse for 2 years, and she would constantly come to ME with questions...basic stuff that she should know. She's a very nice person, but in my opinion, has no business being in a position like that until she herself has worked the floor. I think it's bad practice.
Nov 12, '10It's possible she has leadership experience from her previous career which would lend itself well to being charge. She may well be a great critical thinker even if she is fairly new to nursing. I agree that it's ideal to have the charge nurse be an experienced one, but perhaps nobody else wanted the position?
Nov 13, '10I was a new grad two years ago and applied for a job. I signed a one year contract not knowing that they had decided that I would be their nightshift charge nurse. Two weeks into orientation I was informed of their plot. I said no because I believed that this was not safe for me nor the patients. I was orientated for two more months then told that I had to be on my own now with just one LPN and two CNAs. Two weeks into my nightshift, my LPN came into work unable to function safely. I was left on the floor with fifteen patients. Luckily my DON came to assist me swiftly because the two dayshift RNs that were still at the facility would not help me. I have worked extremely hard over the last two years. Currently, I have nurses with ten or more years of experience that volunteer to work with me when my LPN is out. My CNAs have total confidence in me and my ability to take care of my patients. Now I am the teacher because I was given an LPN a year ago that was straight out of school. She has blossomed from a nervous student to a strong nurse that is more than capable of leading in my absence. She always says that it helps that I can empathize with her. Now she knows how to set limits and say no when limits have been overstepped. To other new nurses, do not be nervous to say no. Remember how hard you worked to earn this achievement!
Mar 13, '12I am a new RN with 4 months experience in a per diem role and I have already been thrown into the role of charge nurse on a busy med-surg ward when staffing is always an issue on several occasions. The first time it happened, I laughed and said, "are you kidding me, I work per diem, haven't been on this ward in ages and you want ME to be charge!?" Escaped it that time, then on one night shift I decided I could handle it given there were students that helped out with my assignment. It went ok, but honestly it is so unsafe to be putting a per diem nurse with little experience in charge especially when there are regular nurses working who should be taking on that role.
I am going to go to my manager and ask about what the policy is for per diem nurses being in charge. It is so not right. The last time I was "in charge," staffing was calling me constantly, I had a heavy patient load, running around trying to solve other nurses's issues, and wouldn't you know it, the regular nurse with a student didn't take the role of charge nurse.....getting my one year then I am out!
Mar 13, '12Quote from RNpandoraRNIf this new grad has no business being charge why aren't the more experienced RNs doing it?Just needing to vent, or maybe get some replies on why this isn't such a bad idea!
I can tell you what is happening on my floor. With hiring picking up, the solid 4-6 year experience Charge RNs are fleeing our very demanding unit en masse.
This leaves us with two type of RNs to choose from: Newbies and 25-30 year veterans playing out the string.
Most of the veterans are refusing to be charge so that leaves us newbies to step up. Some of the newbies have no business in that position and are not considered. But there are a few who have solid decision making skills (especially when and who to ask for assistance) who are being asked to fill the role that has been abandoned by the high performers and refused by the qualified veterans.
Call it a battlefield promotion if you wish, but sometimes someone's gotta do it.