I will soon graduate with my BSN and have been offered a position in long-term care with flexible hours and well above average pay for a new grad where I live. My goal is to find a hospital job, but I know realistically that will take time. Would it be okay to accept the LTC while I job hunt? The money is lucrative, but I don't want to ruin my chances in acute or critical care by taking this route.
Thoughts? Advice would be greatly appreciated!
I could go either way depending on a trillion zillion variables, one of the biggest being my ability to support myself without the immediate SNF employment.
I would work the LTC job while looking for what I want. Who knows though, maybe you will enjoy and want to stay there? You won't ruin your chances of obtaining an acute care job later. I know several of my co-workers who started out in LTC.
If you take the LTC job, focus on the LTC job rather than continuing to hunt for a hospital position. LTC is going to give you crazy good time management skills. You'll develop your assessment skills without fancy equipment, so that when and if you do decide to move to the hospital, you'll pick things up faster and have a better idea what is really going on. You'll learn how to delegate, when and how to follow up and how to work with colleagues. You'll be exposed to a wide variety of meds for a wide variety of conditions, so the opportunity to learn is wide open.
LTC nursing skills transfer easily to Med/Surg, stepdown, ICU, oncology and just about any other specialty you could name. And someone who stays at their first job long enough to be comfortable (a year, approximately) or competent (usually 2 years) is a great addition to any staff.
Apply to hospitals first! LTC should be last choice if you don't plan on working there long term.
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