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Charge Nurse

Nurses   (5,317 Views | 18 Replies)
by nursestudent15 nursestudent15 (New) New

211 Profile Views; 5 Posts

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762 Posts; 9,265 Profile Views

Last place I worked all the day charge nurses on a super busy med surge floor (48 beds) all had less than one year nursing experience and new grads would be placed in charge positions within a few months if they seemed capable.

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Nature_walker has 4 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in psych.

209 Posts; 4,307 Profile Views

My unit is after 6 months to a year.

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171 Posts; 4,941 Profile Views

I got pulled off orientation 2 weeks early at my last job. When I walked in for my first shift on my own, I was greeted with, "Surprise, you're in charge!"

I didn't even know all of the door codes yet. No paperwork got done that night, we had a rapid response and I kept calling the emergency number from my former facility, the house supervisor yelled at me when I hadn't made assignments at 5am and I broke down in tears. You should have seen me trying to test the defibrillator - I think I woke half the damn hospital!

My director and I had a long talk the next day...

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RNrhythm has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

241 Posts; 4,377 Profile Views

When I worked at a chronically understaffed LTAC, an actual acute care hospital, I would get stuck with Charge even though I had less than a year's experience. This was because we were short staffed and all the other RNs were registry, travelers, or had some sort of performance problem.

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NurseKatie08 has 11 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Geriatrics, Transplant, Education.

744 Posts; 12,982 Profile Views

My first job was a subacute rehab where there was not a formal charge RN role, but after a while I was the most experienced on my shift that people looked at me as an unofficial charge & I was the default decision maker when the house supervisor was not working that night. Now I am on a med/surg unit with no hard and fast rule about how much experience you should have. We have a somewhat "permanent charge role" (three nurses on days & three on nights) who always do charge when they work (and have other duties like assisting with scheduling for the unit and so forth). I chose not to apply for that role when it came out, but I have been doing charge for about 2 years. Got thrown in to it one night when none of our typical charge RNs were on and I was felt to be the most appropriate choice out of those of us to choose from. I didn't feel super stressed because I had been requesting to try charge for about a year at that point so I was prepared. In general I prefer to work the floor because I enjoy the patient interaction (we have an assignment free charge...or rarely 1-2 patients at night) and I have a background in education. Because I have nearly nine years of experience and many nurses on my shift have 0-2 years of experience, I feel I am a good choice to be on the floor as I can take heavier patients without requiring as much support as a newer nurse might.

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75 Posts; 2,827 Profile Views

On my unit, it's more like who is willing to be charge? Everyone hates it. We have no guarantees on patient ratios. We do get a differential, but I'm not sure the stress is worth it.

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QuarterLife88 has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN.

548 Posts; 12,921 Profile Views

On my unit it's usually around 6-8 months, mostly out of necessity, and this is an occurrence on night shift. Day shift is full of experienced nurses so who's ever in charge will have a couple of years under their belt already. I work in a hospital on a med-surg unit. Don't expect prior training in order to be charge either.

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