Doing "Charge" tips needed

Nurses General Nursing


Please list all tips and helps for starting to do Assist/Relief Charge. Have been a nurse for years but not "Charge". Please help.


1,378 Posts

Please list all tips and helps for starting to do Assist/Relief Charge. Have been a nurse for years but not "Charge". Please help.

It is very important that as a charge nurse, you learn to delegate. Others will be glad to help you.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,512 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Being in charge you have to make assignments, and making assignments can get a negative reaction from your coworkers. Don't take it personally. Be profressional, if something is wrong, nip it in the budd, talk to the person, write them up or whatever. Don't say to your manager a year from now "when I'm in charge so and so always is insborinate" manager will say "funny, there's no documentation".

Good luck.


120 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTC.

You probably need to be aware of all the necessary phone numbers to contact others in your organisation should emergencies arise ie: maintenance dept head, dietary sup, etc. Also be familiar with the policies and procedures in case of fire, first aid, staffing. Also being familiar with everyone's routine if there is a routine book is helpful and what the staff mix is for that day. Delegate where necessary, and relax and have a great day! Being confident and not allowing others to ruffle you will go a long way.


30 Posts

1. Be fair. Make out the assignments according to acquity, not by the room number. Give out admissions fairly, just because you don't like nurse x you give her 2 busy admissions. haha!!!

2. Communicate well. Know your resourses. Keep in constant contact with your nursing supervisor. If you have any doubts with a patients stabilty let her/him know. Don't be afraid to ask questions from your senior nurses or even other specialty units/areas.

3. Mingle. Be available to everyone. Get frequent updates from you fellow nurses. Pay close attention to the "climbing out of bed", unstable, critical patients.

4. Delegate. Do not be the " used and abused" charge nurse. Learn to say "NO", if you can't help, find someone that will.

5. Dont be afraid to call a code. Some people are intimidated to do this. Also know the impportant, for codes, public safety etc. and how to get or look up your hospital policies and procedures.

6. Keep calm. If your anxious, running around like your heads cut off, i am sure your nurses will fololw suit. You set the tone.

7. Set a routine, after you've been charge a couple of times, you will be able to do your duties by a time schedule. Do not forget the forms you have to fill out that have a deadline. ie, bed mnagement forms, diet sheets, lab requests.

8. know that you can not satisfy everyone. Do not take comments personal. Esp. when it comes to staffing issues. if they question your judgement, explain why you've made that decision.

9. Report! If you have any inclination that a situation needs to be reported to your nurse manager, report it. Better safe than sorry.

10. Be patient. With the nursing shortage today, you may have alot of new grads, agency, travelers, floated nurses. Be kind enough to show them around. You also have to be able to manage patient family issues, be professional. If you can not deal with the issue at hand contact your nursing supervisor. :p :p

Learning the charge nurse tasks can be difficlt. Just remember keep calm, give it time and remember that it'll get better.

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