Oh @$^% I'm Charge!

Oh @$^% I'm Charge! / What is a charge nurse? Why would I want to become one? If it is right for me, how can I get this position? / Nursing ADPIE / #nursing #nursingstudent #murse #nurses #nurse #nursingadpie #adpie #nursingleadership #rnlife

Welcome back! This week we are discussing charge nurses.

What is a charge nurse?

Why would I want to become one?

If it is right for me, how can I get this position? All these questions will be answered!

Charge nurses (CN) are viewed as a resource. Ideally, they are the first “go-to” person in the chain of command. Every facility may have different responsibilities for this role, however, across the board it is considered a leadership position that carries great responsibilities. CN may be appointed for the role for their:

  • Positive team player attitude
  • Fairness
  • Team building behavior
  • Knowledge base
  • Leadership skills (This might be the most important)

This role will not always be appointed to a seasoned nurse, contrary to some beliefs. Nurses displaying potential will be sought after and groomed for the role in some cases. Ideally, CN should hold a BSN or higher since BSN prepared nurses learn leadership and management. However, ADN nurses are not excluded as their experience can hold great value.

We can expect charge nurses to be involved in the following:

  • Assist with hands-on care at the bedside
  • Communicate with physicians
  • Coordinate transfers in or out of the facility
  • Meet with staff for their annual evaluations
  • Assist with the hiring process
  • Handle service recovery
  • Round on patients on the unit
  • Assist with composing schedules
  • Make the staff nurses’ assignments

Needless to say, CNs are just a tad bit busy! Their roles are not necessarily standardized between day and night shift, or other departments, nonetheless, this role has quite the shoes to fill. It is a privilege to be a charge nurse as it is a highly coveted and respectable title.

As new grads, it is vital to keep your CN aware of your day in an effort to maintain open communication and also allow the charge nurse to suggest some clinical pearls. David and I are charge nurses at a small community hospitals, sometimes were are in staff and assume care for a full load of patients. At times it can be challenging, but it has allowed us to maintain our skills and excel on our time management and multitasking.

If you’re interested in becoming a charge nurse, talk to your leader about the role and suggest a day to shadow a charge nurse on your unit. Expressing interest in this role is a great way to be considered for it. If you do not meet the qualifications, then set some goals! The new year is here and it’s time for some new goals for growth. We owe it to ourselves and our patients. Depending on where you work, you may need to interview for the position, don’t panic! The fact that you got the interview is a good sign. Maybe you can start as a PRN charge and eventually become a full-time charge? The key is to keep challenging yourself.

As a new CN, take deep breaths! We were all novices at one point or another in our career and look you’ve made it to charge nurse! #boss Remember, you too have a resource, so feel free to phone a friend. You CAN do this! Management believes in you and will support you! You have shown potential and this role is just the beginning of what you’re capable of! Be the leader you yourself would want to follow! Be fair, be patient, be ready! Now go on fearless leader!

Stay tuned for next week’s post! We’d love to hear from you all and encourage everyone to leave a comment below for suggestions of topics you’d like for us to discuss. Until then, please continue to monitor...

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