New Grad



  1. Hi all,

    I just recently found out that I passed the NCLEX-RN! And now the job search begins. But my dilemma is this: I have always wanted to work in Geriatrics and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I am going to be working in a Nursing home. Many of my peers who graduated with me think I am nuts to want to work in this area. But honestly, working on a Medical-Surgical floor in a hospital does not appeal to me. But I am apprehensive about my choice, because all of my instructors have drilled it into our heads that we need at least a years worth of Med-Surg experience before we work in our chosen specialty. Can anyone offer me any guidance? Is it possible to work in this area without having any Med-Surg experience? Thanks in advance for any advice given!

    Paula RN
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   aimeee
    Welcome, Paula! Congratulations on passing your boards. I went right to LTC after school and so did two of the other nurses at the facility I worked at. I never liked working in the hospital but always felt right at home in LTC. YES, you can go right to LTC. It is true that you will not pick up the same breadth of knowledge in a short time that you would working med/surg. If you go to work on a skilled unit though you will maximize your exposure and opportunities to apply your skills while working in the type of setting you prefer. Go for it!

    Oh, one more possibility for you to consider...see if there are any LTACH units in your area (Long Term Acute Care Hospital). You would get the broader exposure there and a chance to practice lots of skills (IV's, trachs, ng tubes, complicated dressings etc) and yet they are there for longer stays so you get more chance to form relationships with them as you do in LTC.
    Last edit by aimeee on Mar 23, '02
  4. by   Pris96
    Hello Paula: I am a new nurse also pass state boards, and I work in the Long term care field. I was told also that I want get to use my skills, to a point that is true, but we or getting younger residents in LTCH now, Dialysis pt. residents who has to go get blood about every two months. So I get the chance to flush the ports. I also start IV's and to me the most important things is you learn so much, not all residents or there because of age, but so or there because of a disease that was pass down through generations. but then I just love the elderly also, so go for it you want be sorry.
  5. by   duckie
    As a new nurse many years ago, I tried hospital nursing and didn't like it at all. If felt like a fast food joint....."get 'em in, get 'em out"! Working with the elderly has given me more than I have given them. Each one is a history book and the things they have already done in their lives many of us could not imagine. I love getting to know them and becomeing part of their family. I do suggest that you apply to a Skilled Care facility so that you can use many of the skills you have been taught. You won't be perfect, and no one expects that. Your ability to assess comes only with time and experience but I think you will be very happy if you go where your heart tells you to go. That's what I did and have never regretted it! Have a great day and good luck.
  6. by   RN-NY
    I too would like more info. regarding this. I graduated 2 years ago, took a year off to take care of ill mom and then got licensed a year ago. Since then I've been working in Community health /Ambulatory care settings. But now am going to be in LTC as I enjoyed the experience during school (very rewarding!). So, how should I prepare? I feel like I have to go over all of my books again just to be up to date!!!
    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!
  7. by   Catsrule16
    Congrtulations on passing boards!!!

    Geriatric Nursing has many rewards and heartaches too. I love geriatrics. Check out the LTC facilities in your area. Check the Nursing home compare website and look at the facility's survey report. Visit a few facilities before applying. Ask the staff questions like what are the staffing ratios. Ask about the administrator and the director of nursing. Look at the ratio of "chiefs" to "indians" (Management to hands on care givers). Is the management staff out of the office and out on the floor getting to know what is going on in the facility? I guess I'm saying are they accessable if you need them?

    Watch out for some of the big chains... Just because they are big doesn't mean they are best. If you visit some facilities, talk to some of the families and find out how they feel about the place. Check with the unions if you have them for recommendations.

    I've gotten so attached to some of my residents in long term care. I've cried with families with the loss of a loved one on several occasions. It takes a special person to work with the elderly. Lots of times it is a thankless job.

    Good Luck and go for it if it's what you want to do.

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