*To All LPN Charge Nurses*

Specialties Geriatric


Hi all!

I was wondering what it is like being a charge nurse. What exactly is your job description as a charge nurse? How does one become a charge nurse? Do you have to take any management classes?

You see at my place of employment, which is the VA Nursing Home, they do not have LPN's as charge. We have 240 residents, 60 res per unit. So on the night shift which is what I work(12-8), there are at least 4 RN's in the building plus a night supervisor.

I always wondered if being charge nurse is a good thing or not I mean considering what they the RN's have to do, I'm not sure I'd want to be charge.(Alot more responsibility) Do you see alot more in your paycheck for being in charge? I mean new proceedures are being tossed at us like starting IV's, drawing blood,but I don't see the powers that be wanting to pay us more for it, at least where I am working anyhow. I feel as though we are getting the raw end of the stick most of the time. I am at the top of the pay scale now and have nowhere else to go except to school for my RN which is probably what most of us should be doing if we want to that is.;) Have a fun-filled day!

I'm a charge nurse, have held this position (at other facilities) for over 6 years.....I love it. Anyway, this new job is at a facility that just opened......we have 3 residents!!!!! Yep, you heard me.....3. I love it. We will slowly add more, but compaired to my last job....the job from hell.....I'm enjoying this new one a zillion %! We get board looking for things to do (night shift).

Just a note for AJACK......whoa parter.....slow down, you don't need to 'try' and impress us here. We're all 'super-nurses' haha, so don't let that ego get too far ahead,ok? WHY do others stay out of your way??? Maybe because it's getting alittle too deep, if you know what I mean?????

All of us that work in LTC are worth our weight in gold!!!

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

I'm a LPN and I work in LTC. I am a staff nurse/charge nurse/floor nurse, whatever you want to call it. I am in charge of my patients, nursing assistants and all of my nursing duties. I report to no one, other then the DON if needed. Otherwise there is no RN watching over me. RN's and LPN's are equal in our facility, with the exception of a a few duties (like IV placement and such). I really like my job! Take care, Dawn

Originally posted by Level2Trauma

Just how smart do you have to be to stay out of the way of your EGO.


I am also an LPN in charge of the medicare/ skilled unit in our facility on the nite shift. I usually have 1 CNA to work with and he is very good w/ the pts. We can range from an all time low of 15 pts to 35. 90 % of the time I am on my own, my RN super knows she doesn't have to watch anything when I am on the floor. I am appreciative of the fact she has come to trust me & my judgement calls when a problem occurs I can handle, and that when I call her for something it's a big deal. I am starting to get a little burned out when nurses who do half of what they are supposed to seem to be treated like they are gods/ goddesses. May be I would like a pat on the back now and then but I realize that nursing isn't about praise or recognition. After a few nites off I am made to smile by my residents who tell me" where have you been?" or " I missed you" That's where I get my recognition. Laura LPN

Oh yeah, I forgot I LOVE MY JOB. I LOVE MY JOB> I say it at least 50 times a nite!!! :chuckle :chuckle ( But I really do love my job)

I am employed at the VAMC as an RN. I have dual licensure as an LPN & RN in the state of VA. Prior to being employed at the VAMC I worked in a local nursing home and I was charge nurse on the unit I that I worked on evening tour. On some days there would be two LPNs on the unit or perhaps an LPN and an RN. If I gave report to the night tour I had to mark it on the timecard and thus I was paid extra for doing charge and I even was paid shift differential for working the evening tour. The same applied for when I worked overtime on the night tour.

The VAMC does not allow LPNs to assume the role of charge nurse. When I was employed by the VAMC I was an LPN and I have been employed by the VAMC for 10 yrs,3mos. and 7 days. I became and RN in Sept. 1999. As an LPN I went from a LPN4 to an LPN6; therefore, I have walked in the shoes of an LPN both outside the VAMC and within the VAMC.

Specializes in LTC/Peds/ICU/PACU/CDI.
originally posted by duckie

...where i work, each unit has a charge nurse. the "floor nurse's" or "staff nurse's" are the other nurse's that work. there is a pay difference. the charge nurse's are responsible for all staff on the unit, and it is our duty to keep the unit functioning at the most efficient level.

where i work, the "charge nurse" has the responsibility of the entire unit. they never pass meds or do treatments. they're responsible for supervising the unit, taking-off orders, going to meetings with management, giving inservices, following-up on restraint reviews, updating all dnr/dni/dnh orders, following-up on the staff nurses' monthly summaries, weekly skin assessments, & body check documentations. they coordinate with the activities department for daily & special events, mediate with families & doctors, inspect the resident's room & showers for any broken equipment daily, sit on monthly team meetings, & consult with dieticians, pt/ot, & outside medical agencies. the charge nurse is responsible for all three shifts; their hours overlap from days into the evening shifts & they come on the night shifts a couple of days out of the month. they don't work weekends as they're considered management. the charge nurses were all rns until about a year ago; the state came & we had major violations...3 out of the 4 unit managers (as they were called then) were absent during the inspection for one reason or another. the unit managers have been replaced with lpns whom are now referred to as "team leaders". they make 41,500 a year as senior lpns - that's the cap on what lpns can make for now...we're union & the union's looking to open-up the contract for wage increase for both new lpns & for those who are at the salary cap.

the only other nurses considered "charge nurses" are the night shift nurses. we used to be staffed with x2 nurses on nights; one would be the "charge" who permanently worked that floor & the other would be the 2nd nurse who is in charge whenever the charge nurse is off. the 2nd nurse often floats to other units as needed. our facility lost a lot of nurses from nights & they either went to a different shift or they quit altogether. now we only have one nurse on each unit per night; it's rare to see x2 staff anymore. sometimes, we have 1-2 extra nurses who float around the building, doing all of the 24 hr chart audits, writing the mars/tars, checking recaps, etc.

I'm a LPN on the night shift and I'm classified as the "night shift supervisor" for 70 residents. I generally have 4-5 aides that only do nurses aid work. I give all meds, tx's etc. If I have a problem

that arises I can call my ADON or DON at home at any time. I don't call very often. On the other floor we have 48 residents and another night shift supervisor who can be a RN or LPN. We generally don't help each other, we just stay to our own floors.

I make $17.90/hr and the hours are 10p to 6:30a. I 've really enjoyed the challenge of being the charge nurse, I feel like it's been good training for when I finish my RN. Unfortunately my body is rebelling about working nights and I am going to days, where I'll be a staff nurse again. It's not easy being the only nurse for 70 pts, all of the staff have to get along since its a small group of people. Most of the aides are wonderful caregivers at the LTC where I work. They are my eyes and ears at times and bring many important points to my attention, since I don't assess

everyone, each night. I'm used to Acute care and find LTC harder emotionally since you get to know the residents and their families on a more intimate basis. I could go on, but won't, it's interesting to read about other LPN charge nurses @noc!

+ Add a Comment