Charge Nurse

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Charge Nurses - Are they adequately trained?

Melissa Bogle
Nursing Research 4003
November 15, 2012

Abstract
Charge Nurses have a very difficult and demanding job. This is true for anyone, especially for a new graduate. It’s scary enough just to be a new nurse but assuming a charge nurse position is terrifying. Do you have the skills or knowledge it takes to be in charge? The charge nurse role is not often discussed while in nursing school. Leadership qualities are the key to making a great charge nurse a leader, but that leader must also have training. A charge nurse must be prepared for the day ahead, learning to be resourceful, how to place their most qualified staff with complex patients and how to deal with conflicts. A typical day in the life of a charge nurse may include entering orders, answering the phone, meeting the needs of patients, being prepared for a pending emergency, and the list goes on. The morning rounds with your physician discussing each patient’s needs individually can be difficult especially if you have a new visiting physician or you have been off for a few days and are not familiar with your patients.

The charge nurse position is often a job that no nurse truly wants to take on because of the responsibility that comes with the job. This job is often handed to a new graduate in many settings. The leadership that it takes to complete this job may often only come with experience in this position. This is a problem that often arises in the health care setting I work in. How does one determine whether a nurse is ready for the “charge” position? Does it take a check list provided by your nurse manager, experience, confidence or does it take all three? A checklist provided by your nursing manager might contain administrative daily duties that would make “a charge nurse”. The chief duties on this list could be delegating, utilization of resources, staffing, census, education, and collaborating with team members to manage...
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