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What are the expectations of a new grad

Nurses   (2,459 Views 10 Comments)
by jnabc1432 jnabc1432 (New Member) New Member

319 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Hi Im a recent graduate with my RN, and was recently hired unto my unit, after a short period of orientation I have learned quite a bit, but now realizing there is so much more to nursing that I have no experience with. They have placed my in the Charge Nurse position and wondering if there is anybody else that is experiencing the same overwhelming stress I am. Is this typical for a new grad to be placed in this position. I am not sure if I can catch on this quick and be able to perform without loosing it. Im so stressed and Im causing others to be stressed around me I guess they think I should know what Im doing already.

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602 Visitors; 2 Posts

Now I'm just a nursing student, so I could be wrong. But isn't charge nurse a position for someone with a lot of experiance. They tell other nurses what to do. At least that's what I thought they did. I figured most people aren't ready for that position until they have a few years of experiance in AT LEAST. Well I'd talk to your supervisor and let them know you don't think you are ready. Good Luck I hope it works out!

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Annaiya has 5 years experience and specializes in PICU.

13,149 Visitors; 555 Posts

You don't say exactly how much experience you have, so it is hard to judge for sure, but I don't think it is at all uncommon to start doing charge after being a nurse for a year. However, it doesn't matter at all what the "average" is if you are not ready for it. Definitely talk to your manager and let them know that you don't feel you are ready to be charge yet. Since I'm sure you don't want this to appear like you aren't doing a good job, I'd recommend having a list of some specific things that you want to get more comfortable with before taking on the role of charge.

For example, you could say "I really appreciate that you have so much confidence in my skills that you feel I am ready to act as charge. However, I don't quite feel ready yet. I would like more time to become comfortable with X, Y and Z. What do you think is the best way for me to learn these things quickly?"

Hopefully this way you can get the time you need to feel more comfortable being placed in the role of charge, without feeling like it makes you look bad. Being charge doesn't mean you have to know everything, it just means you have to know what resources are available to get the answers need. But if you are too stressed with it now, don't do it. Too much stress will burn you out and that never makes for a happy nurse!

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ocean waves has 35 years experience.

2,822 Visitors; 143 Posts

Hello. To answer your question of "is this typical for a new grad to be placed in a charge nurse position", the answer is that staffing assignments seem to vary depending on the circumstances and the facility. For example, when I was a new grad RN many moons ago, I was assigned to a rotating charge nurse staffing plan on night shift (we had one Head Nurse for all shifts on that surgical unit who worked the daytime hours). That's just the way it was. I agree that as a new grad the charge nurse role can be scary---one of my coping strategies which worked well was to respectfully use any experienced nurses on my unit and the night shift nursing supervisor as good resource people. Best wishes!

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5,873 Visitors; 194 Posts

The definition of a grad nurse is someone who has been a nurse less than one year. If we are working under the same definition then I think working as charge is completely out of line. But it does depend on the floor and acuity level. I would question the facility that puts a new nurse as charge personally.

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Penelope_Pitstop has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN.

45,617 Visitors; 2,365 Posts

I don't think anyone with less than a year of experience should be charge...and even if you're very experienced, you shouldn't be charge on a floor new to you for at least six months. That's how I feel. A charge nurse should be experienced but also needs to know hospital policies and has to know the floor itself before being put in that position.

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turnforthenurse has 7 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in ER, progressive care.

36,295 Visitors; 3,364 Posts

It depends on the hospital and the unit. On my unit they don't let anyone with less than a year of experience be charge. My roommate works on a different floor. She just graduated in May, got hired in September on an Acute Care of the Elderly unit. They have been having her do charge stuff.

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NoviceRN10 has 5 years experience.

8,811 Visitors; 901 Posts

On my unit being charge just means you have to know the pt count, how many are on telemetry or have PCAs, you count the narcs in the lockbox during your shift, and you do the staffing, which means you do the assignments for the next oncoming shift. I think technically you are supposed to know about ALL the pts on the unit too, but I've never been given report on the whole pt load so not sure about that. You're also supposed to address customer service issues if a pt isn't happy about something. I was a bit timid about being charge only a few months after being hired, but so far it's been alright. The nurse in charge on my unit takes a full pt load. We take turns and usually are charge about once a week.

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2,360 Visitors; 87 Posts

I have been an LPN for 4 years, but just got my RN license on 12/23/2010. More responsibilities on my part. I work with a RN who does not like his job, and is not a team player. This is very frustrating, because it is just myself and him, running our acute floor. I have found it much easier to talk with our ER doctor, in a way of asking advice, and it has worked out for me. He is the same ER doctor every weekend. so, this is a unique situation. I have told my DON about my co-worker. She is planning to change my schedule. I have felt overwhelmed at times. But, i always tell myself to calm down, maybe go get a drink of water. Communicate with your fellow nurses, even if they dont want to hear it. I am sure they can remember when they were a newbie. I hope this helps.

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9,369 Visitors; 1,459 Posts

Now I'm just a nursing student, so I could be wrong. But isn't charge nurse a position for someone with a lot of experiance. They tell other nurses what to do. At least that's what I thought they did. I figured most people aren't ready for that position until they have a few years of experiance in AT LEAST. Well I'd talk to your supervisor and let them know you don't think you are ready. Good Luck I hope it works out!

Bleh.

1. Being "charge' is for someone with the leadership capabilities, who can harness the skills and talents under his/her mangement and put it into good use.

2. Being charge is knowing you DON'T always know all and are willing to use available resources and not adverse from asking the opinion of a more knowledgeable person.

3. Being charge is knowing when to call for help AND who to call for help from.

4. Experience does count in being charge, but think about the beauty of learning from other people's pitfalls/experiences and making sure not to step in it. You have a calm head and tend not to get overly excited when a crisis occurs?You have the potential of being charge. Celebrate yourself.Also be mindful of your limitations

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