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New to charge nursing


I have been an ER nurse for 3 years and I recently started charging. Most days have been OK but I had one really bad day as charge and in truth I no longer want to be in this role. Thanks to the new low census we have I was working with a smaller crew and encountered a night of very high stakes emergencies. Luckily every patient did great but I feel I am not experienced enough for this. I also have really bad anxiety and sometimes I feel this is a good thing but it is a really heavy burden. When I agreed to charge I felt I would be given more support, then COVID happened and now everything has changed. I expected this role to have growing pains but I did not expect it to be this challenging. I really want to work somewhere else but no one is hiring. Anyone out there have perspectives or insights on adjusting to this role?

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

First, every nurse has bad days, whether it be the staff nurse role, the charge nurse role, preceptor, fast track role, or triage role. I have a high tendency to be a black cloud and have had bad days at all of these roles (but on the other side, I have had really good days in all these roles too....just goes with the ER territory).

Second, if you truly do not have an interest, maybe politely express that. There are some nurses that enjoy this role - I know I actually loved the charge role at my old ER because we had a lot of new graduate nurses and I enjoyed watching out for them and just generally helping out my team. At my new ER, I do not enjoy the charge role as much because I actually am one of the least experienced nurses in comparison to nurses who have been nurses for decades.

Third, were you given enough training for the role? I actually was given a decent amount of orientation when I trained for it. I actually oriented to it probably a year and a half as a nurse, but I had a paramedic background and had been in my department much longer than my time as a nurse - hence the reason I oriented earlier.