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How often are you the charge nurse?

Posted

I just signed up with a new agency to do private duty nursing. However, this company also has agency staff that go out to hospitals, nursing homes etc. I was filling out paperwork and there were many questions such as "Can you work as the charge nurse at- and then they listed different types of units-OB, Med-Surg,Psych etc. As agency nurses are you expected to walk into a facility and be the "Charge Nurse"? Thanks

Blouis, APRN

Specializes in School Nurse, Med/Surg, Float. Has 4 years experience.

No, unless there are no other nurses who have experience then you will. But the two hospitals I work, there is always a charge that is a staff nurse.

Thanks Blouis. That's good to know. I am glad to hear that they don't expect you to be the charge nurse. The paperwork I filled out made it sound like an agency nurse was expected to take charge on a regular basis.

Well, you could be asked/told to charge. But I guess you could turn it down. There might be unpleasant consequences, but that might be better than accepting being put in charge when you don't know the facility. If you do charge, you should be given the name and numbers to immediately access a house supervisor and the ward Nurse Manager for back-up.

I was put in charge at a facility where I'd worked several times. I was foolish to accept it, looking back, but nothing bad happened. It could have.

I wish you good judgment and good luck.