A question for all LTC nurses

  1. Hi everyone.
    I never thought I'd be thinking about going to work in a nursing home. Here where I live, the three 'biggies' that transfer their residents to our hospital have dismal reputations and I always saw LTC as sort of an abyss. I am a student nurse, and I work in a rural ER.
    However, in my dealings with elderly patients both in school and at work, I have discovered what a special population they are. Small things bring tears to my eyes, when an elderly woman tells me thank you, or will take the time to tell me a story of her youth. That is wonderful to me.
    So I wanted to ask:
    Could any RNs in LTC tell me what the average starting salary is, what they do in a day, how long they have been in LTC, how well they like it, etc. I'm a bundle of questions. I had a friend who worked as an aide in a nursing home, and she said that the RNs were mostly tied up with paperwork and didn't have much time for patient care... is that true?
    I would really like to try and change the reputation and public image of the nursing home, and provide consistent, quality care to residents. If anyone could give me any information, I'd be grateful for your time and input.
    Thanks in advance.
    Take care,
    Rebecca
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Catsrule16
    Hate to say it, but it is true RN's nurse more paperwork than they do residents in nursing homes. Starting salaries depend on the region of the country. I love working with the elderly. I've been in long term care for the past 11 years. I've made as much as much as $26.00 an hour in the southeast region of the country. My days consisted of getting report, assigning staff duties, med pass, assist with breakfast, treatments, charting, med pass,assist with lunch, treatments, and charting. In between all this, had to handle family complaints, acute episodes, administrative questions, make rounds with the doctors, take orders and transcribe them as well, scedule appointments, draw labs, etc. On average, I had at the most 4 minutes per resident a day.
    The staffing ratio was 1 nurse to 40 residents. Oh well... I am nolonger doing hands on care but still involved with the elderly in an administrative position. It has been very rewarding and I have no regrets for the path in nursing I followed. Good Luck!
  4. by   NE.NURSE
    I have worked in LTC for 21 years. The last 16 as a nurse. I tried acute care but did not find it grattifing.I very much enjoy getting to know my patients. They become like family. I currently work as a unit manager. But when I was a staff nurse my usual day was much like CATS. Pay depens on exsperience. Starting pay in the midwest for an RN is around $15 hour.
  5. by   delirium
    Thanks for your responses.
    1 RN to 40 pts? That's quite a ratio, is that the norm for ltc? It seems like you wouldn't have time for much of anything. Do you ever feel that patient safety is an issue? I assume you have a support staff, do you work with CNAs or LPNs or both?
    Hospital nurses do a lot of charting, too, but I was under the impression that ltc nurses had to do much more paperwork to comply with medicare guidelines. Is that true?
    Here the starting pay for a new grad RN in a hospital is $19/hour. Is LTC usually more than the hospital rate or less?
    Thanks,
    Rebecca
  6. by   allevi
    I also work in LTC. Worked as cna,lpn and now RN. Pay varies, but in this area nursing home nurses usually make more than hospital. Usually most of the patients in rural hospitals are also elderly. It also depends on if you work for a non profit organization or for profit corporation. I prefer non profit, pay is less though. Yes 1 to 30 to 40 res. is typical, but the cna's do the direct care. You are responsible for med pass, some places do utilize med aides. I work pms, but my shift is much like the first post. Now that I am an RN i am being asked to do more administrative things, not really my thing! The best thing about nursing is that there are so many options, that if you find yourself in a area that you don't like, you can always try something new.

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