My 28 bed med-surg unit is considering eliminating the charge nurse position as a cost-cutting measure. I would be very interested in hearing the pros and cons of this issue.
Mar 21, '00
You actually have a charge nurse position?! The staff nurses on my floor rotate running charge, with no extra pay and an equal pt load as the rest of the staff.
Mar 21, '00
We currently have what we call a point nurse. She/he does not get report on all the patients on the floor, only her/his own FULL assignment. Pays 1$/hr, responsible for assigning admissions and rooms, and staffing issues for the next shift along with filling out the patient assignment for the next shift. Somebody has to do it, can be a P.I.T.A. at times. What concerns me is what the legal ramifications could be as point nurse. Any comments.
Apr 12, '00
My facility changed the role of the charge nurse. It called the position clinical coordinator but the function is ,more like that of an assistant nure manager. I am responsible for the day to day operations of the unit. I have communicators with no patient assignment on days to make assignments,fill out shift reports, and know about each patient on the floor. They also act as intervention nurses. On nights they have a reduced assignment 2-3 patients and do the same tasks as the day communicator. It is working but looks different that what we had in the past
Jun 15, '00
That sounds very scary to me not to have a charge nurse!! We have a charge nurse on each shift (12 hour) for our 40 bed floor. That nurse is responsible for staffing issues, admission assignments and as a double check for every order written. They also act as a liason between the doctors and nurses (so you don't have 6 nurses calling the same poor intern one after the other) and are the first to try to allieviate any problems that arise with patients that the primary nurse feels unable to handle. They keep track of patient acuity each shift. On days they do not have their own patient assignment, on nights, they may have 2 - 3 patients. All this for $1/hour.
Jun 16, '00
In our ICU, we take turns - charge nurse technically is supposed to take less critical patients, assign new patients, assist others if possible, and give general end of shift report. Doesn't always work that way, but everyone up there works pretty well together. No extra pay.
Jun 21, '00
We tried without a charge nurse and the RNs actually became RNs for awhile without the "mother may I concept". Unfortunately, the MDs screamed and the charge nurse is back. Our med/surg unit has some excellent RNs who can easily function without a charge nurse. Problems occur with newer nurses who need help. That's when the charge nurse is helpful. Also the doctors need their hands held too. Efficient unit secretaries are a must no matter what plan your organization has this week.
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