Leaving my comfy throne to go into LTC, comfort vs skills

  1. I'm leaving my job as a floor nurse in mental health/Special needs because I was offered a LTC job in a better location and It suits my needs currently. Mainly, I need more skills. I have been here almost a year and I can't even get a peg tube, much less an injection. ( yup you guess it. The staff is med cert) So I need more skills, and more of a challenge I believe so i can keep growing as a nurse. Sooo I wanted to ask for those of you who left your comfy high paying job for a more challenging one which involved a pay cut 😦 ..Do you think you made the right choice? I am scared to leave my comfort zone. I am having second thoughts. i will have 30 patients at the new job doing 7p- 730a and its NOTHING LIKE what Im doing now. My job is a piece of cake But I AM NOT GETTING SKILLS. Any advice on this??? 😢
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   CrunchRN
    Depends on where you want to go ultimately?
  4. by   Zyprexa
    Skills are overrated in my opinion.
  5. by   GrandmaSqueak
    You say it's in a better location and suits your needs. If you can live with the pay cut, I say go for it.

    30 residents on over-nights is pretty good, depending on how many CNA's you have.

    It will be a challenge and sharpen your skills. If you plan on hospital nursing in the future, or if you plan on furthering your education, the experience will be great.

    I wish you well in your new adventure.
  6. by   calivianya
    Quote from Zyprexa
    Skills are overrated in my opinion.
    +1

    I'm personally of the opinion that the best job is the one you're good at, that's comfortable, that you get paid the most money for. I'll move so a higher paying job is more convenient before I take a lower paying job because of location, but that's just me.

    Best of luck to you, OP!
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from MsMollyLPN
    I'm leaving my job as a floor nurse in mental health/Special needs because I was offered a LTC job in a better location and It suits my needs currently. Mainly, I need more skills. I have been here almost a year and I can't even get a peg tube, much less an injection. ( yup you guess it. The staff is med cert) So I need more skills, and more of a challenge I believe so i can keep growing as a nurse. Sooo I wanted to ask for those of you who left your comfy high paying job for a more challenging one which involved a pay cut ..Do you think you made the right choice? I am scared to leave my comfort zone. I am having second thoughts. i will have 30 patients at the new job doing 7p- 730a and its NOTHING LIKE what Im doing now. My job is a piece of cake But I AM NOT GETTING SKILLS. Any advice on this???
    You have the skills you need for your current job. "Skills" are overrated. If you're leaving because the hours, the commute or the benefits work better for you, that's great. If you're leaving because you're bored and looking for more of a challenge, that's a worthwhile reason. But chasing "skills" just to have "skills" . . . I guess I don't understand the point.
  8. by   NurseCard
    I agree with the above. You have a job that you are comfortable in, that pays
    good... I'd think long and hard before leaving that to go to LTC.

    I guess you have a long commute right now? How long?
  9. by   MsMolly💋LPN
    The commute is like 10 mins driving.

    You all have given me reasons to rethink my decision! Thank you. I'm just not sure what to do.
  10. by   NurseCard
    Well... you know, there is a such thing as being incredibly bored in your job.
    Perhaps you really are wanting to do some more hands-on work and skills,
    and if that is the case, awesome. I personally though would not take the
    pay cut. Maybe wait for, or look for something that is equal pay. Or even
    find a PRN job. And ten minutes is just not a very long commute at all.
    My shortest commute has been fifteen minutes, EXCEPT for the one nursing
    home that was in walking distance of my house, that I took a GIANT pay
    cut to work for!
  11. by   dream'n
    I'm older than the OP, but high-paying and comfortable are not to be minimized. And at my age, thinking of a job as challenging=stressful, not what I want
  12. by   CoffeeRTC
    30 residents on an evening shift won't be that bad. Might be a good way to get your feet wet again.
  13. by   andralynnrn
    Hi Molly. For those of us who work in LTC, I wish there were morr nurses who want to work in long term care. You will sharpen your skills, critical thinking, and assessment. One thing you will need to get used to ia not having doctors in thr facility. Your assessment will be the only way the doctors will know what the best course of action is for the patient. You will also establish relationships with your residents, which is my favorite part of being a LTC nurse. There is also a better chance of job advancement, as most companies promote from within. Good luck in your new journey. I woulf love to keep in touch to see how it is going for you.
    Last edit by andralynnrn on Sep 3 : Reason: Spelling error
  14. by   caffeinatednurse
    There is a learning curve with LTC, just like with any other type of nursing. You'll become more independent, mostly because you have no choice but to. There's not a doctor there to ask questions to. You'll probably have an on-call provider service, but those providers have probably never even been to the facility or seen that patient. They're relying 100% on your assessment skills. After I had been there for a while and the providers knew me by name, they would just ask me what I wanted. Did I want an order to send them out? Okay. An order for an x-ray or labs? Sure, why not.

    Don't be surprised if it's you doing all of the meds, treatments, discharges and admissions on your unit. You might get lucky and have help of another nurse, but don't rely on it - someone could call out, and that other nurse could be pulled to another unit at any point. Discharges are less likely to happen on night shift, but admissions can arrive at any point. If you're on a rehab unit, your census will depend on the hospital and whatever admin feels like dealing with. I've had detox patients, patients with hip/joint replacements, patients with new pacemakers, psych patients, patients on isolation precautions, wound vacs, Foleys, nephrostomy tubes, PICC lines, JP drains, IV antibiotics and maintenance fluids, basically anything that you might see on a medical-surgical unit. The only difference is that there's a lot more of them and only one of me. Their pain level is still a 10 while they're playing on their phone. They still need PRN pain medication. Their families still find things to complain about. They can still code. At one point, I had more pts that were full code than DNR on my unit. You will become adept at recognizing "normal" and "abnormal" by just walking in the room, looking at your patient and assessing them. You will become really, really good at wound care. You will learn what dressings work best with certain types of wounds. You will learn how to do everything 10x faster than you're used to doing it. It will be challenging, but depending on what you're looking for and your career goals, it very well may be a valuable experience for you.

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