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Charge Nurse in 6 months?

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Hi all

I started working in a busy ED in NY 6 months ago. This is my first job in acute care. This unit has a very high turnover rate & I still feel pretty new and just starting to get comfortable. They're starting to put me as charge some nights, and even though I say I'm not comfortable with it they dont seem to care. Ive asked for training of some kind for the role & they say its not needed....??? I'm confused as to whether this is the norm in most units...should I look for a new job? Or stick it out? What would you do? Thanks.

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6 months in an ED (1st acute care job) and charge???

Huge set-up for disaster...

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NO! This is not normal, okay or acceptable. If they will not listen to you and take you off charge until you have AT LEAST a full year of experience (bare minimum) and give you a proper orientation, I would look for a different job. I'm assuming, though, that they have you doing charge because they don't have anyone more experienced. That in itself is scary, as well.

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That is not the norm by any means. We require at least one year of experience in the ED although most of our charge nurses had at least five years before starting to do charge. We don't force anyone to do charge if they don't want to, although we will encourage some of our nurses who we think would be a good fit. The charge position has distinctive training and competencies beyond regular staff positions.

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I would definitely not do this, you are asking for big trouble!! There is a reason for the high turnover. Did your job description say anything about this when you got hired, either way I would say no but you esp. have a leg to stand on if not in the job description.

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I would definitely not do this, you are asking for big trouble!! There is a reason for the high turnover. Did your job description say anything about this when you got hired, either way I would say no but you esp. have a leg to stand on if not in the job description.

Most places leave appointment of charge nurse up to the discretion of the manager, and most job descriptions have "...and other assigned duties" listed, so the fact that it's not in the job description does not mean anything.

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I think, under the circumstances you describe, you could substitute "Sacrificial" for "Charge" and have a better understanding of the assignment.

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I think, under the circumstances you describe, you could substitute "Sacrificial" for "Charge" and have a better understanding of the assignment.

And perhaps "lamb" for "nurse." Seriously, your post made me LOL.

OP, this is a bad idea. Please look for another position.

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Most places leave appointment of charge nurse up to the discretion of the manager, and most job descriptions have "...and other assigned duties" listed, so the fact that it's not in the job description does not mean anything.

Oh yea, that sneaky little clause, ugh!

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I was charge my first night off orientation as a new grad... because I was the only regular staff member there (working with a bunch of travelers). It was inpatient psych but still no bueno. I'm just lucky nothing happened.

This is despite a policy that charges should have 2 years of experience.

Plan to get out asap.

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In my experience I have been put in charge without preparation and while asking to not be put in charge. I think it's fairly commonly done. It may have to do with your education level. I had a BSN when that was somewhat rare, and I also have a Bachelor's Degree in something else. Take it as a compliment although it is terrifying.

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Sounds like your employer cares more about covering their shifts than they care about you. Bottomline is YOUR nursing license will be in jeopardy if you make an error that impacts one of your patient's lives. By continuing to accept these shifts you're putting yourself at risk. This doesn't sound like a place where you should stay. Protect yourself and find another employer that will respect your current abilities and be willing to invest in your future.

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