Charge nurse with less than a year RN experience???!! - page 6

Recently one of the nurses I work with began training to be charge on our 30-bed (very busy!) med/surg unit. But here's the kicker - while she's very pleasant to work hasn't even been a... Read More

  1. by   needluck
    I was right out of Nursing school as an LPN, and we have no choice when it comes to "Charge Nurse:!! After maybe 3 months of General training ( paperwork, rules regs etc) we are put in charge just a much as an RN . I still am not comfortable being Charge with such little real experience as a nurse. I think it to be quite foolish and risky to be put in this position with such little training. However, I press on, do the best I can, and call the Nursing Supervisor for anything I am not sure of, better safe, than sorry...
  2. by   nysvetnurse
    I have been an LPN for 26 real med surg experience. I have been an RN for 9 months. I do charge on a busy med surg floor, nights, one to three nights a week. Didn't get much training, have a back up in the supervisor if I run into problems, have usually 3 well seasoned LPNs as staff. I am a natural leader, not afraid to ask questions or get advice from more seasoned nurses, even if they are LPNs, not afraid of looking stupid and don't put much stock in what others think as far as general opinions. Have I made mistakes? Yep, you bet. Do I feel qualified? Nope, not even close...but I am learning every day. Do I worry about making a bad call? Every hour!
    We are a small 200 bed rural hospital. We have a very small staff...always need nurses, pay is low, but guidance and encouragement is very high...criticism is minimal and atta boys are number one. New nurses, (RNs) can learn to be charge in less than a year, dependent upon training, knowledge and personality.
  3. by   Sean 91
    Yeah, very common. Even an RN 6 mos out. We were told in BSN program, don't be surprised if you are in an administrative position within one year. Took less time than that. Esp as the 30-yr experienced charge nurse on our shift was calling in sick 1/2 the time leaving three RNs (no more LPNs) for 30 pts.
  4. by   baleyja
    It depends on the individual themself. We cannot under/over estimate one's credibility. I had a charge nurse who was promoted to manager after 7 years and got demoted in a year because she could not cope. However, it is up to the staff to accept the responsibility or reject the offer. In years to come, this scene is going to become more rampant with the shortage of nurses. It is happening in most hospitals as the turnover of nurses is high.
  5. by   sparketteinok
    I am shocked to read these posts. I have been an LPN for about 8 months now, and we have a LOT (80%) of new RNs on my tele med surg floor. And they all are charge, routinely. There is a day, evening, and night charge whom are experienced, and that's it. Everyone else who is charge on weekends or when these people are off are brand new with less than one year experience. I guess it's been status quo for the nursing world I'm in that I never thought about a problem with it. It's just the way it is. Many times on the weekends, it's the new RN, me and a CNA. And that's it.

    BTW, I don't think experienced charges are always a good thing. Don't get me wrong, most experienced charges are great and everything a charge should be. But then I've worked under those who take the charge position as an excuse to pass all the work on to everyone else while she/he is talking on the phone (non-work related) or shopping on the internet. Meanwhile the rest of us are drowning.
  6. by   NRSLDT
    Sorry, but that is a little insane and irresponsible. I am a new grad and I am a charge nurse in a SNF, but I was a LPN for about 5-6 years. I hope she understands the legality and liability that may rest upon her. I worked at a hospital a few months before accepting my current job and there is no way I could have jumped in and took on so much responsibility at a hospital. I cannot see a way of justifying this. How do teach someone something you do not understand or really know about yourself. There are many skills that take a lot of practice to conquer. I wonder how do the Senior nurses feel?
  7. by   rockwell108
    Hello, New RNs .. Please give your self time before committing to charge position
    you can really put yourself at risk.. management today will not back you up and human resource HR .Is really HR management . ALWAYS protect yourself and your patients .. I know I been a nurse for over 20 yrs .. Nursing is really changing .. and sadly not for the better . management protect there friends .. Good Luck
    Nurses need a union to protect them ....
  8. by   dkaykaymom
    I got one better. . .how about an RN with about 6 months experience being made a DON of a 100+ bed LTC?
  9. by   fortune-teller
    In New York, it is a part of the orientation. The management just want to see if you have any leadership. There is always a senior nurse around so that the new nurses can consult them should there is a problem these new nurses might have.
  10. by   Elizabeth, RN
    This brings back memories of the "good old days" when I began my nursing career in 1972. I was flattered to be actively recruited by my small hometown hospital prior to graduation. When I was asked what areas interested me, I said med-surg to start. I felt I needed more training for CCU and didn't like OB. But before my board results even came in (it used to take weeks), I ended up the PM charge nurse for 48 beds with med-surg, CCU and OB all on the same floor. I had an LPN med nurse and a few aides. Talk about a nightmare for a new grad! I only stayed three months but my stress level was in the stratosphere. But at least I was well-paid, $3.97 an hour! Back then, the doctor's home numbers were in the phone book and you had to call one in if someone came to the ER....
  11. by   salibi
    I guess I would have to ask: "Who is she friends with or who is she related to that has some importance on the unit or in the hospital" careful of who you talk to about never know who is friends with who and how things can come back to you. She may have been chosen because she is malleable...meaning, she won't stand up for what is "right"...she'll just go along with what she the nurse manager wants...I have seen this situation before and the person was "politically correct" seen as non-challenging by management...i.e., will do what they are told to do--whether it be right, wrong, or somewhere in between.
  12. by   wiegel34
    I had just recieved my permanent license and was at the hospital 6 months out of school when I was appointed Charge Nurse. thankfully there was a good support team behind me or I would have drowned. It happens, no ones fault, just the way things are.
  13. by   salibi
    good luck, I am sure that you are doing a great job...I was please don't take my comments personally; of course, there are exceptions to every situation...I wish you luck!