A new role....


I have been working as an RN in a 40 bed Med-Surg unit, though it's been 3 years, I still feel like I'm still one of the new ones....recently, I got my evaluation and I was asked by my DON to start orienting to charge (day shift). I didn't accept it right away coz I feel like I'm not deserving yet. I made a deal with my DON that I will give it a try and just be in charge as needed...relief/back-up CN. So she accepted. I have started orienting ( 2 days now), my dilemma is, I don't think I'm that assertive yet when it comes to dealing with issues with family, staff, and other issues besides checking and noting off orders. There are other nurses on the floor that I feel are more deserving, more experience and have more leadership skills than I do. I have a very good working relationship with my co-workers and other departments, I'm afraid that with me having a new role, I might step on other people's toes unintentionally... And I also noticed during the 2 days of my orientation, it's hard to address questions from Doctors, families, other dept about patients since I only know them by paper (report sheet)...I miss interaction with patients....I am coming to realize that really bedside nursing is what I enjoy the most...it's really different.


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Anytime you are in a position of authority you will step on people's toes. You will do it even as a floor nurse nurse because you are an authority figure to pts, pt's families, CNAs, xray techs, etc.

There may be people on the floor that you think are more assertive and would be better in the role. But you don't know that they would be better leaders.

You may also ask around and see, it may be that other nurses have been approached but have declined the offer to be in charge. Many people are like you - they don't want to step on toes or take the extra responsibility dealing with docs, and problems.

If you really don't like it, don't do it. If you don't like it but continue to do it, you will end up being cranky and unhappy. And this will definitely undermine unit morale. The charge nurse has the ability to affect the mood of everyone in the unit. If you don't like your job, others will perceive this and may interact poorly because of it. Don't be afraid to tell your manager. They cannot force you to do it. Not everyone can stand in the middle of the fire and thrive so don't force yourself or let your manager talk you into it.

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