Confused About the Charge Nurse Role? You’re Not Alone

Charge nurses—as is often the case, there’s the ideal and the reality. Consider a recent blog post at the nursing blog At Your Cervix, which expresses some honest reservations about acting as a charge nurse—both about the challenges involved, and the lack of compensation for the added duties. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m really not so sure about this charge nurse thing. I was told when I arrived on a recent shift that I was to be in charge. I think I’ve done charge (maybe?) three times. Those times were only because there was no one available who did charge, and I was the most likely choice to do it. I haven’t been trained or oriented to do charge. It was kind of a “toss her in there and do it” situation.

If you read the entire post, you’ll learn that this blogger isn’t so sure she wants to take this role on again anytime soon. As it happens, AJN published a CE article back in September of last year (our clinical editor, Christine Moffa, wrote this post about it at the time) on an initiative which took place at the highly respected New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Its goal was to figure out this charge nurse thing in a more systematic and sensible way.

Like so many roles in so many professions, there may […]