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Luhg Luhg (New Member) New Member

Can a LVN be a charge nurse

LPN/LVN   (3,224 Views 11 Comments)
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Hi all. I'm scheduled to graduate in August *fingers crossed and have started to look at the different job postings out there. I'm starting to get nervous because the only job postings I see are mainly at LTC, plasma centers with starting pay from $15 to $20 tops. I'm starting to feel like I've wasted a whole year for such little pay.

I do plan to bridge over to RN while working as a LVN. Before I started the program, I was working at a family practice (There are 9 clinics around the city) for about 2 years. My manager mentioned to me that they want to start looking into hiring LVN/RN because they only hire MAs right now and that I would have a job offer when done. My question is, can LVN be hired as charge nurses in clinics? I would like to propose this to my previous employer but don't want to sound crazy! Also, what would be a reasonable asking pay?

I'm in TEXAS BTW

Thank you-

Future nurse! =)

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Yes, clinics a it more flexible....

But in general, the pay not much more than you mentioned......

A lot depends on geography

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Not sure about clinics. It is however perfectly acceptable in my state for LPNs to serve as Charge Nurses in long term care facilities.

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I am also in Texas. You can charge over other LVN, CNA, Medical techs, etc... but not over RNs. When I was "charge" over my hospital's 16 bed PCU and 16 bed ICU I had the title "Resource". My supervisor would have had to officially direct the RNs. However, my management style was based on asking questions, giving information and maybe making suggestions. I never had any difficulty with the legalities.

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Sure you can work as a Charge Nurse. Be selective of the facilities you apply to though. Those offering sign on bonuses are usually places you want to shy away from. Bonus = short staffed and overworked. You really need to have a good head on your shoulders though, as you will be responsible for the entire building and will need strong multi tasking skills as well as excellent communication skills. Take for instance what happened to me last night on my shift : One of my co- workers quit; two separate falls occurred; one resident went to the hospital with a head injury; I assisted a fellow co-worker because he isn't certified to give insulin; I filled out two incident reports and called and faxed the doctors'; I charted nurses notes; I found time to put on an ice cream party for the residents' AND I still CLOCKED OUT ON TIME !!!!!!!!!!!! If you can juggle all that... go for it. But keep in mind, I have over nine years of experience under my belt and have dealt with all kinds of situations in personal care; assisted living; skilled care; rehab and everything in between. I've seen and done it all. A lot rests on the shoulders of a charge nurse so you have to be able to deal with many things at once. If that sounds like you, go for it !!

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Sure an experienced LPN can be a charge nurse in LTC, but a new grad right out of school? Anyplace that hires a new grad as charge nurse is looking for trouble, IMO. And frankly, I don't think you should be in a position of power over floor nurses whose job you've never experienced, both for their sake and your own. Someone who's never been in that position, dealt with those demands, been forced to learn how to prioritize under pressure, been directly impacted by staffing decisions made by management, etc should not have the power to make decisions affecting those floor nurses. Frankly, the only thing a floor nurse hates more than a former colleague who moved up into management and immediately forgot what it's like to work a floor, is someone who's never touched a patient dictating to them as if they know anything. I can't imagine a situation in which a new grad being hired as a charge nurse is going to work out well.

As to the undesirable pay and job roles you're finding, didn't you do any research on where LPNs work before deciding to become one?

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I live in Texas and have worked as both a LVN, then transitioned to a RN (ADN). During my nearly 20 year nursing career, I've worked in a few nursing home/LTC's, as a floor nurse and weekend supervisor.

All the facilities I've worked at refer to ALL floor/direct-care nurses as "Charge Nurse", whether you're a LVN or RN. This includes new grad nurses, as well as experienced nurses.

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I'm an RN working in a peds clinic right now and I'm only making $25 an hour which is the highest offered pay there. Their range is $20-$25 and I come with ten years of experience. The hospital I'll be working for when it opens next year is only going to pay $27.50, and again I'm someone with ten years of experience. Low pay is unfortunately just the nature of the beast right now so I'd say start where you can and work your way up. The "charge nurse" at my clinic is actually an MA so it honestly makes no sense why she is in charge of the one LPN and four other RNs. In a clinic the rules dont apply like normal and you could take credit for being a charge on your resume.

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I live in Texas and have worked as both a LVN, then transitioned to a RN (ADN). During my nearly 20 year nursing career, I've worked in a few nursing home/LTC's, as a floor nurse and weekend supervisor.

All the facilities I've worked at refer to ALL floor/direct-care nurses as "Charge Nurse", whether you're a LVN or RN. This includes new grad nurses, as well as experienced nurses.

This. In my experience all floor nurses, LPN or RN, are "charge nurses" by default. Given that you're the only nurse down your assigned hall/unit/whatever for the shift.... what else would you be?

I find the people who balk at the idea of LPNs and/or new grads being "charge" nurses in nursing homes are looking at it withinn the context of acute care, where a unit has multiple nurses working the floor. In LTC-Land it's just you and the CNAs.

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I worked as a charge nurse right out of school. Worked as charge when I moved to Texas. All at LTC. WE do have an RN to consult with should we need to such as the DON or on call nurse.

As far as wages, they are low in Texas. I took a pay cut moving to Texas.

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