What does a Charge Nurse do?
A Charge Nurse manages a ward or unit (such as the cardiology unit) while working their shift. They oversee all the nursing functions during their shift, including processing patients’ admissions and discharges. They are also responsible for delegating nursing rounds and for administrating drugs to patients. They are responsible for the coordination between Nurses, Physicians and Hospital Administrators. Similar to other Nurses, they are also responsible for the general care of the patients.
Charge Nurse skills and qualifications
Charge Nurses need a combination of clinical experience, communication and leadership skills. A successful Charge Nurse candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to fulfil their duties, these typically include:
- Thorough attention to detail
- Familiarity and knowledge of hospital safety procedures and practice
- A high level of self-motivation and adaptability
- Critical thinking skills
- Ability to work autonomously and as part of a team
- An interest in teaching and coaching Junior Nurses
- Patience and the ability to remain calm under pressure
- Customer service skills
Charge Nurse experience requirements
The seniority of the position, the size and type of ward or unit where the Charge Nurse works determine the experience required. Some employers may require candidates with at least four years of experience in nursing in a hospital or healthcare facility environment, together with a minimum of two years of experience in supervising Nurses.
Charge Nurse education and training requirements
Candidates for a Charge Nurse position must be Registered Nurses and may have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. More senior Charge Nurse positions may require candidates to have a Master of Science in Nursing. Certifications in advanced cardiac life support, basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are necessary for Charge Nurse positions. Charge Nurses working in speciality units or wards may need to have additional certifications specific to the ward’s area of specialisation.
Charge Nurse salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Charge Nurse in the UK is £35,860 per year. The salary level depends on years of experience required, the company and its geographical location.
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