What Is A Charge Nurse?
During their shift, a charge nurse is an RN who is essentially ‘in command’ of a ward at a hospital or other healthcare facility. These nurses do many of the same duties as regular nurses but additionally have supervisory responsibilities. Apart from patient care, the charge nurse ensures that the shift runs well and acts as a liaison between staff nurses and physicians or hospital managers. These nurses assign duties, create schedules, and keep track of admissions and discharges. To succeed in this job, a combination of clinical experience, communication skills, and strong leadership abilities are required.
How to Become a Charge Nurse
After earning a degree and RN certification, RNs typically require a minimum of 3-5 years of clinical experience before being employed as a charge nurse. Given that charge nurses can work in a variety of wards and departments, obtaining experience in a particular specialty (such as ICU, labor and delivery, etc.) is a good idea for any RN considering a career as a charge nurse in that niche.
The following are some of the most frequently cited talents in charge nurse job descriptions. While specific criteria vary by state and business, persons interested in becoming charge nurses should be able to perform the following:
- Capable of providing direct patient care
- Patients must be able to be moved, lifted, and positioned.
- Responsible for monitoring team members and personnel, both licensed and unlicensed, throughout the institution.
- Capable of monitoring and charting data
- Provide guidance, support, and direction to staff on a daily basis.
- Must possess exceptional interpersonal and communication abilities.
- Capable of assessing medical conditions promptly and skillfully and expediting care
What Education Do Charge Nurses Need?
Charge nurses are often hired by hospitals and other health care organizations that hold a BSN degree and have passed the NCLEX-RN. Employers may favor RNs with advanced degrees, such as an MSN, because this role needs a greater level of knowledge and responsibility. Experience is also necessary, and certain charge nurse posts may require up to five years of clinical RN experience, thus this is not always a career path for recent nursing graduates.
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
While there is no formal accreditation or certification for charge nurses, many hold additional certifications. Certifications in basic life support, pediatric life support, advanced cardiac life support, and CPR are all necessary or preferred for registered nurses seeking charge nurse roles. Charge nurses in specialty units may also be required to achieve department-specific certificates or certifications.
Where Are Charge Nurses Employed?
Charge nurses are required in a variety of different healthcare settings. Apart from hospitals, charge nurses may work in medical clinics, physician’s offices, nursing homes, urgent care clinics, and other specialized medical care settings. Due to the administrative nature of this work, some travel may be required, since charge nurses are occasionally requested to attend off-site meetings.
What Is the Role of a Charge Nurse?
Charge nurses are responsible for a variety of tasks on busy hospital wards or medical facilities. They supervise staff nurses, organize care, supervise treatment, and manage a significant amount of paperwork. Apart from their supervisory responsibilities, charge nurses are also on the floor seeing patients and may be called upon to assume command in an emergency. Charge nurses must also be familiar with their employer’s policies and procedures and ensure that they are followed.
What Are the Charge Nurse’s Responsibilities and Responsibilities?
- Supervise and assist personnel
- Schedules for staffing are created and/or maintained.
- New hires must be trained and orientated
- Participate in meetings about patient care
- Supervise and maintain compliance with policies, procedures, and safety standards
- Meet with administrators on a regular basis to report on and address personnel and patient care issues.
- Assume primary responsibility and act swiftly and efficiently in the event of an emergency
- Educate patients
- Supervise admissions and releases of patients
- Keep an eye on and order supplies
Salary and Employment for Charge Nurses
Charge nurses can earn between $50,400 and $90,523 per year, with a median pay of $68,863. The type of business, the location, and the amount of education and experience of the RN all contribute to the actual wage.
Charge nurses, like registered nurses in general, are in high demand. Charge nurses with a blend of clinical and administrative experience are required to supervise staff nurses in increasingly complicated and demanding medical environments. A charge nursing position is a good “next step” profession for an ambitious registered nurse who has obtained considerable experience and is seeking further responsibilities.