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Charge Nurse

Hello my name is Emily and I have worked with HPFT for the past three years as a Charge Nurse on the Inpatient Unit.

A day in the life of a Charge Nurse...

A typical day can vary. Most weeks I am allocated two long days and two shorts days and a majority of these are shifts during which I provide direct service user support. This includes shift leading, supporting people who use our inpatient service with medication, personal care and activities. I also complete assessments, plan care, implement interventions and then evaluate the success of these. In addition to this my role includes providing staff support and supervisions.

What do you enjoy most about being a Charge Nurse?

I enjoy the fact that the role is so varied and every day can be different. The range of service users we support varies and everyone has different needs resulting in the ability to always learn new knowledge and skills. I also enjoy the fact that I can support staff to develop their roles further and encourage them to avail of training and learning opportunities.


Supporting staff in a busy and challenging environment can be difficult and I often feel like I am not able to provide enough time to support them. Additionally, it is often hard find the time to be involved in new innovations.


I receive support from my line manager, I have regular supervisions and time outside of this to discuss any additional support/ issues that I have. I also get support from my colleagues.

Key skills and knowledge

I feel you need to be calm, organised and adaptable. Having good leadership knowledge is a priority. It is important that you can work both independently and as part of a team. Additionally the ability to risk assess situations and manage risks is important.

Future opportunities

The skills for this role are transferable to a similar role in a different setting. Alternatively I would like to specialise in an area of Nursing, possible therapy. There are also opportunities to progress to a more Senior management post.

What's your advice to others interested in becoming a Charge Nurse?

Ensure you have good coping skills and a way of managing your own stress and workload. Find a way to prioritise tasks. Hold a particular interest that keeps you motivated. I would suggest that people who are hoping to become a Charge Nurse should completed the Leadership Academy.