Advancing Your Career | Career & Finances | Leadership | Original Content | Specialties

Charge Nurse Role: Think You Have What It Takes?

  • Charge nurses are responsible for making sure we’re staying on track and providing quality patient care.
  • It is a highly competitive role that requires organizational skills, wisdom, leadership, and previous clinical experience.
  • Think you can handle a charge nurse role? Check out Nursing CE Central’s guide to everything you need to know about charge nurses!
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

May 05, 2021
Simmons University

Are you wondering what a charge nurse role is like? Or are you a charge nurse looking to make a transition in your career?  

Whatever the case may be, there are many characteristics and traits of a successful charge nurse. To perform the job well, this role requires excellent critical thinking skills and an ability to manage several responsibilities at once.

From hospitals, surgical centers, outpatient offices, residential care, nursing homes, and in-home care, there are nearly 4 million working nurses of all specialties in the U.S.  

In order to manage these facilities and ensure that they run smoothly, efficiently, and safely; a charge nurse is an essential member of the team.  

Charge nurse roles are essential in the organization, efficiency, and safety within specific units of healthcare facilities. 

Charge Nurse Role Overview 

Is it different than a nurse manager?

A charge nurse typically manages a floor or specific unit of a medical facility. These nurses are often RNs or LPNs with a vast amount of clinical experience. 

 A reputable nursing employment resource organization,, defines a charge nurse as an RN who “ensures that everything is going smoothly during a shift and coordinates between the staff nurses and physicians or hospital administrators.”

Charge nurses hold many responsibilities. 

For example, they maintain the quality of care within their unit, provide feedback and leadership assistance to their fellow nurses, and ensure that all nurses under their supervision are following the facility’s protocols and regulations correctly.  

Although their roles may appear similar, Maryville University outlines that a nurse manager provides oversight to the clinicians at a facility, however, they serve as a liaison between all staff members, primarily focus on leadership and education-based roles, and do not see patients.   

So, to answer the question above, yes, a charge nurse role is different than a nurse manager. However, that is not to say that one is less or more important than the other – healthcare facilities need both leadership roles in order to thrive. 

charge nurse role, take charge

What does it take to be a charge nurse?

Do you think you have what it takes to fulfill a charge nurse role? 

Online nurse-for-nurse network, outlines all the requirements you need in order to take the reins of your nursing staff! However, it is important to note that every unit and facility differ in their requirements for a charge nurse, so be sure to do your own research on the specific facility you are looking to work in. 


– Earn ADN, BSN, or MSN degree 

– Pass NCLEX-RN exam 


– 3 years working in clinical patient care. If your goal is to work in a specific unit, a majority of your experience should come from that specialty field.

– Some require you to have specific certifications such as being a super-user over specific devices, as well as ACLS, CCRN etc.  


Charge nurse roles require a high level of organizational skills, as they are responsible for monitoring and scheduling staff and patient assignments.  

Additionally, charge nurses must maintain performance monitoring documentation of the staff in order to relay any concerns or information to their nursing leadership committees 

Some of the common and most-desired qualities of a charge nurse role include innovation, ambition, optimism, organized, and strong communication skills.

Charge nurse roles are essential in the organization, efficiency, and safety within specific units of healthcare facilities.  

If you have what it takes, take on the challenge of becoming a charge nurse. Step into the role and own it!  

Love what you read?
Share our insider knowledge and tips!

Read More