New nurse


I'm looking for some insight. I am a new nurse (4mo) and I am starting to feel very discouraged. I work in a rural hospital. We all work med surg and ER usually 3 of us Overnight. I feel I am learning so much. I never thought I could learn so much in my first couple of months as a new nurse. While I am starting to feel somewhat comfortable in my basic nursing skills I am still very shaky in the ER. Ok. I am a nervous wreck in the ER. While most of our patients are requiring basic clinical things we still have codes and chest pain people we are needing to fly out. Ok. Long story short. Management is starting to ask me to take the charge position on occasion... I am just not comfortable with that yet. I work alongside some new nurses also that will take that charge position. Am I being too cautious? I would rather be cautious than hurt someone. I just need some insight from other nurses.

Thank you!!


115 Posts

I am not as far along as you in my training, but if you are not feeling comfortable being charge nurse I would say that. Have a sit down, let them know that you want to work up to that level of care management on the unit, but that at four months you are just not there. I'm not sure about other facilities but the nurses who are charge most of the time on our unit have been with the hospital and have been nurses for decades. However, sometimes there will be a newer nurse in charge, but newer as in five or so years of experience, not four months. From what I get so far, your charge nurse is a resource to the other nurses as well as managing bed placement and issues. At four months in most new nurses are still transitioning to the role of a nurse - how can you really fulfill that role to support other staff if you yourself are still a novice?

It has helped me a lot to look through posts here to get some more ideas about care/run scenarios through my head so I feel more prepared every day when I go in. Have you had a chance to browse the Emergency Nurses forum? It would be a great place to discuss what things you're worried about or run some ideas/questions past some really experienced nurses here =)


175 Posts

I've beem a nurse. 6 mths and font feel ready for charge either. Just tell

them that.

Specializes in Prior military RN/current ICU RN.. Has 16 years experience.

I was charging in 6 months of being a nurse on a med surg unit. it is part of the job. All I can say is even if you are worried project confidence. Embrace the challenge. It is was scary for me first few times, but I realized the world didn't end and I actually enjoy the challenge. What I would tell them is you would like to work with a charge nurse for at least a few days. Where I worked I took the reigns with the "actual" charge nurse there to assist and provide guidance. Also when I first started charging I told the staff hey I am new so I may not be as fast as others, but I am here and working hard and we will do a great job!