What Is a Charge Nurse and How to Become One
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What Is a Charge Nurse?
A charge nurse manages the nursing care for a particular unit or ward in a hospital or other medical care facility. As a charge nurse, your job duties include supervising other nurses, assigning tasks, handling challenging situations, and implementing emergency procedures when necessary. You also monitor patients and educate your nurses about best practices and hospital procedures. To succeed as a charge nurse, you must have a compassionate personality and excellent organizational skills. Your job is a balance between patient care and leadership.
How to Become a Charge Nurse
To pursue a career as a charge nurse, you must earn your registered nursing (RN) certification. You can choose between a few different paths to reach that goal: a diploma from a licensed nursing program, or an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Once you finish your schooling, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam offered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Passing this exam allows you to practice as a registered nurse. Finally, you need three to five years of work experience as an RN, preferably in the field where you’d like to work as a charge nurse.
How to Be a Good Charge Nurse
To be a good charge nurse, you need strong communication and interpersonal skills, both for interacting with the nurses under your supervision and the patients under your care. Understanding how to prioritize and delegate tasks is a crucial aspect of your job, especially when emergency situations arise. The best way to demonstrate your qualifications to be a charge nurse in a particular area is to focus your nursing experience in that field. There are certifications for specific areas as well.