New grad nursing home job...right for me?

  1. 0
    I've been applying to several nursing homes. I interviewed at one where I would be the only nurse for 33 residents during the 3-11 shift. I would be in charge of 3-4 nursing aides and there is only one other nurse in the building, on a different floor. This job would be great for me, the hours and location are just perfect, but my question is...is this suitable for a brand new nurse? 33 residents/1 (new) nurse? Now i've been in the medical field for a long time (not in long term care) but I wonder if i'm crazy for even considering this?!? They also said I would be trained for (only) a couple of weeks!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    My very first job out of nursing school was in LTC on the 3-11 shift with 30 residents in 2006. Since the facility only held a maximum of 66 residents, I was only one of two nurses in the entire building.

    A couple of weeks of training? Consider yourself fortunate. LTC orientations of 3 days for new grads are the norm in the city where I live. As a new grad I was supposed to have received 3 days of training, but it was cut short, so I received one 8-hour shift of orientation before being cut loose to work on my own.

    You can make this work if you want it. I'm sure some people will come along and chime that your license is at risk, but I pay close attention to the licensure sanctions issued by the BON in the state where I live, and no one loses their license over LTC workloads. Most licensure revocations are related to addiction and impairment.

    Keep in mind that LTC orientation is to learn the routine and paperwork of the nursing home. LTC orientation is not an extended period of paid nursing school clinical practicum where you get to learn every term and procedural skill that you did not learn in school. Once you are off orientation, ask the other nurse with whom you'll be working if any questions arise, or call the DON at home.

    Good luck to you.
    genaluvya, sallyrnrrt, and amoLucia like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My very first job out of nursing school was in LTC on the 3-11 shift with 30 residents in 2006. Since the facility only held a maximum of 66 residents, I was only one of two nurses in the entire building.

    A couple of weeks of training? Consider yourself fortunate. LTC orientations of 3 days for new grads are the norm in the city where I live. As a new grad I was supposed to have received 3 days of training, but it was cut short, so I received one 8-hour shift of orientation before being cut loose to work on my own.

    You can make this work if you want it. I'm sure some people will come along and chime that your license is at risk, but I pay close attention to the licensure sanctions issued by the BON in the state where I live, and no one loses their license over LTC workloads. Most licensure revocations are related to addiction and impairment.

    Keep in mind that LTC orientation is to learn the routine and paperwork of the nursing home. LTC orientation is not an extended period of paid nursing school clinical practicum where you get to learn every term and procedural skill that you did not learn in school. Once you are off orientation, ask the other nurse with whom you'll be working if any questions arise, or call the DON at home.

    Good luck to you.
    Thank you! That actually helps a lot. I don't expect anybody to hold my hand after orientation, just feel like there's so much I don't know, but you gotta start somewhere! Really just wanted to here that it's do-able!
  5. 0
    I'm a new nurse, graduated in May, started at my LTC in January. I've been on my own a couple months now, 3-11, 30 residents, 3 aides. I'm fortunate that I share a floor with another nurse, but we rarely interact. I'm also fortunate to work some awesome nursing supervisors that are around in the building. I haven't figured out how to get out on time yet, but some day I think I will. It's possible, and not the worst thing, but I do find the pace a little stressful. My second med pass I'm fighting the clock to get meds and treatments done before they're asleep- I hate waking people up to give them melatonin to help them sleep! Getting the routine down is the biggest part- who they are, how they like their meds and any other quirky stuff. Good luck!
  6. 1
    I started out at a nursing home as well, but on a sub-acute rehab unit. We had less patients than on the other geriatric floors, but I learned a whole lot. I never stopped looking for a job though, and eventually got an offer at a hospital 6 months later and started there. It's great to get your foot in the door with any bedside RN experience at the moment, then, apply at another place if you're unhappy at the nursing home.
    catinla likes this.
  7. 0
    It may not be ideal but it's better than unemployment.

    My first ER gig was flying solo with only a year of light acute care under my belt. Not for the faint-hearted, for sure, but it did all work out without any epic failures.

    What you need now is experience... I'd be reluctant to turn down any job at this point.
  8. 0
    A very important question:I am a newly RN graduate and I have my LTC orientation next week. My question is..Is it ok to ask my DON for a 2 weeks vacation after 3 months?. I will be attending my sister wedding out of country and this is been planned for years. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
  9. 0
    Quote from giulistudentnurse
    A very important question:I am a newly RN graduate and I have my LTC orientation next week. My question is..Is it ok to ask my DON for a 2 weeks vacation after 3 months?. I will be attending my sister wedding out of country and this is been planned for years. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

    Usually during the interview, or even on the job application, a potential employee is asked if they have any upcoming plans that would require time off, at least that's been the case in my experience. Honestly, I'm not sure how the DON would feel about giving you two weeks after just three months when most folks have to work a year or more in order to qualify for even a week off. Did you mention it to the DON during the interview?
  10. 0
    Especially this time of year, vacations carefully scheduled and many places won't permit vacation time to people still on probation or some other set period of time.

    If you didn't bring it up during the hiring process, it's quite possible that they're going to deny it. Ask, but ask very courteously and apologetically that you waited this long. And prepare sis for the possibility that you won't be at her wedding.
  11. 1
    A few 'weeks' of orientation is unheard of, lucky for you. If you are capable of being well-organized, and are energetic, and can deal with several issues that happen at once (admits, falls, med passes from hell, deaths, fire alarms, constant phone calls, lack of supplies, etc.), you'll do great.
    sallyrnrrt likes this.


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