Charge nurse with less than a year RN experience???!! - page 11

by RNpandoraRN

36,590 Views | 102 Comments

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. 0
    I 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!
  2. 0
    I 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!
  3. 0
    Quote from RNpandoraRN
    Just needing to vent, or maybe get some replies on why this isn't such a bad idea!
    If this new grad has no business being charge why aren't the more experienced RNs doing it?

    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.


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