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Charge Nurse in 6 months?

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by iheartnursing91 iheartnursing91 (Member)

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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.

No. ^ It is not a compliment; not a BS/N compliment or any other kind of compliment. The OP has it exactly right when she says "they don't seem to care." My guess is she is the one who, after ~ 6 months, is one of the most experienced RNs on the shifts involved.

**

I'm (sort of) sorry for my more rant-y mood on AN lately, but come on - - I don't really understand how any safety convos are happening in these same organizations with straight faces. There is no concern for any nurse or patient in the scenario described by the OP. Unfortunately the disregard is not isolated.

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7 Likes; 734 Visitors; 74 Posts

I was only saying if the OP was the safest one there, then it makes sense to have her in charge and to look at it that way. The whole system is messed up to even allow this to happen, but she has to mentally come to terms with it in order to keep working there.

Should this happen? No absolutely not! Another facility in her region might be run the exact same way and better for the OP to strive to do the best job she can- and then be able to put it on her resume and maybe leave, but the system will remain the same whether she stays or goes.

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57 Likes; 3 Followers; 33,555 Visitors; 4,124 Posts

When I was a new grad in my first job (ER), a couple of the wenches I worked with decided I should be Charge. Mind you, I had had no training for the role, no orientation to it. I had no idea what I was supposed to do as Charge.

Nothing bad happened, but I would hope that someone would have more sense lo, these 40+ years later, than to insist that a new grad only a few months into their first RN job take the reins.

Do you even know what a Charge nurse is supposed to do?

I hadn't the foggiest.

Talk to the Manager/Director and ask for an Orientation to the Charge role - at least a couple of shifts.

What tasks are you expected to perform as Charge?

What do you know how to do already?

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1,772 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,090 Visitors; 2,548 Posts

I was only saying if the OP was the safest one there, then it makes sense to have her in charge and to look at it that way.

Having a BSN has nothing to do with it. They are either throwing her under the bus by setting her up to fail or she is the most experienced one on the unit. Both scenarios are putting her and all of the patients in the ED at risk. No nurse with only 6 months experience should be put in charge. This is no compliment and she is very wise to question it.

OP, dust off your resume, refuse the assignment and put up a stink that you are neither experienced enough or trained for the job. If you continue in the role make sure you have comprehensive malpractice insurance because if anything happens administration is going to point all their fingers at you and serve your head up on a platter.

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907 Visitors; 34 Posts

I appreciate the replies. These past few nights have been rough. I jumped to help in a code only to turn around and notice the rest of the nurses (experienced) have left to see their patients. It was just me, doing CPR, the resident who couldnt figure out what to order, and the attending.The nurse assigned to the coding patient didnt even step into the room until everything was done! The pt survived, but what nurse leaves another nurse alone like that... what kind of nursing practice is this?

I had a pt who crashed, had to mix and start a levophed & dopamine drip, which I havent done on my own. I step out of the room...and not ONE nurse was on the unit. They all left together to get "free holiday meals" from the cafeteria. WTH!?!? They left me alone while my pt crashed!?? I ended up calling pharmacy and asking directions on mixing and hanging the drips.

We have 1 IV pump in our ED, outdated technology, and staff who dont work together. I'm getting burned out quickly but I'm working so hard. Starting to feel as though I'm being taken advantage of. I never complain, get angry, or show I'm overwhelmed. I'm seriously considering leaving and have been applying to other positions.

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907 Visitors; 34 Posts

And going back to the CN discussion... no I havent got a clue what CN is supposed to do. I def do not want that responsibility right now in my career & def not trying to lose my license to fix their staffing issues. I wish hospitals would invest in their nurses more & give them the proper training, orientation, and support to succeed, instead of leaving us & using our "BSN" against us when we question something that is unsafe.

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I have definitely been put in charge of things due to having a BSN. I've also been put in charge of things because I was the only RN amongst almost all LPN staffing. I was not necessarily the best at nursing tasks, or the highest seniority person.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

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I appreciate the replies. These past few nights have been rough. I jumped to help in a code only to turn around and notice the rest of the nurses (experienced) have left to see their patients. It was just me, doing CPR, the resident who couldnt figure out what to order, and the attending.The nurse assigned to the coding patient didnt even step into the room until everything was done! The pt survived, but what nurse leaves another nurse alone like that... what kind of nursing practice is this?

I had a pt who crashed, had to mix and start a levophed & dopamine drip, which I havent done on my own. I step out of the room...and not ONE nurse was on the unit. They all left together to get "free holiday meals" from the cafeteria. WTH!?!? They left me alone while my pt crashed!?? I ended up calling pharmacy and asking directions on mixing and hanging the drips.

We have 1 IV pump in our ED, outdated technology, and staff who dont work together. I'm getting burned out quickly but I'm working so hard. Starting to feel as though I'm being taken advantage of. I never complain, get angry, or show I'm overwhelmed. I'm seriously considering leaving and have been applying to other positions.

I guess we now see why the high turnover. Even if those nurses stayed around to do their job (I have never worked anywhere and seen too little people for a code, usually too many!) you were better off getting the info from pharmacist for the meds/drips. This is outrageous behavior, and yes you are right to worry about not only your license but about doing real harm to someone. I would refuse in writing based on this situation (citing patient safety as the reason) and let the chips fall where they may. They may fire you but you will still have your license intact. Good luck!

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

256 Likes; 7 Followers; 32 Articles; 125,656 Visitors; 12,829 Posts

I just have to say kudos to you, OP, for keeping your head together in those rough situations and also knowing where to go for help (i.e., calling the pharmacy for assistance) rather than just winging it and possibly injuring your patient (like the Vandy vec nurse). You are awesome!!! You can use these situations in your interview for your next position, when you are illustrating how you advocate for patients and deal with less than ideal situations. You deserve better.

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

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In Texas we can invoke "safe harbor."

"...may be initiated by a LVN, RN or APRN prior to accepting an assignment or engaging in requested conduct that the nurse believes would place patients at risk of harm, thus potentially causing the nurse to violate his/her duty to the patient(s). Invoking safe harbor in accordance with Rule 217.20 protects the nurse from licensure action by the BON as well as from retaliatory action by the employer."

Does your state have anything like this?

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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In Texas we can invoke "safe harbor."

Does your state have anything like this?

To my knowledge no other state has this at this time.

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience and works as a Nurse.

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I don't know about the ER but at my PRN gig the med surg, oncology, and ortho floors will make a new grad a charge after 6 months. They do have to attend special training classes, but I still think it's crazy. Most take it as a compliment so they jump at the chance. In reality it's because either we are full of travelers or even newer grads.

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