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Origin of the title "Charge Nurse?"

Posted

I have heard that the title "Charge Nurse" started when hospital/nursing home administrations were trying to avoid paying nurses overtime pay. By elevating them from a plain ole nurse to a "Charge Nurse," the nurses were then going to be considered supervisors who would not need to be paid overtime. (In the same way a fast food joint can have numerous so-called "assistant managers" who, most likely, will never actually become managers, but don't get overtime pay...)

Anyway, that little plot never worked--and thankfully nurses still receive overtime pay-- but the title "Charge Nurse" stuck.

Has anyone else ever heard that explanation for the origin of the title "Charge Nurse?" I've always been curious about whether it is true...

Coffee Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 10 years experience.

I always figured it was the nurse in charge of the unit...maybe you mean the position itself, but I think the title is pretty self-explanatory.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I always figured it was the nurse in charge of the unit...maybe you mean the position itself, but I think the title is pretty self-explanatory.

Honestly I'm not sure what the OP is talking about. I always just thought it was pretty much the way you described it.

!Chris :specs:

Charge Nurse= The Nurse in Charge

They already tried Czar Nurse, President Nurse, El Capitan Nurse, and Big Boss Nurse but Charge Nurse seemed to work the best.

As to the theory that they invented Charge Nurses to avoid paying them overtime I would say that is silly considering all the Charge Nurses I know/have ever worked for were hourly.

There needs to be someone with an overall authority to bring cohesion to the team and make the hard decisions that a floor Nurse may need help making.

I have heard that the title "Charge Nurse" started when hospital/nursing home administrations were trying to avoid paying nurses overtime pay. By elevating them from a plain ole nurse to a "Charge Nurse," the nurses were then going to be considered supervisors who would not need to be paid overtime. (In the same way a fast food joint can have numerous so-called "assistant managers" who, most likely, will never actually become managers, but don't get overtime pay...)

Anyway, that little plot never worked--and thankfully nurses still receive overtime pay-- but the title "Charge Nurse" stuck.

Has anyone else ever heard that explanation for the origin of the title "Charge Nurse?" I've always been curious about whether it is true...

Should be on SNOPES somewhere.......NOT TRUE!:lol_hitti

Should be on SNOPES somewhere.......NOT TRUE!:lol_hitti

Alrighty, then...guess I was sucessfully duped when I was a new nurse!

;)