New Grad RN's in nursing homes - page 3

by SunshineRN79 26,634 Views | 30 Comments

This seems to be a new trend since the hospitals are not hiring us! I was hired as a charge nurse.... what about you guys? Tell me your experiences as a new grad R.N. in a nursing home!:nurse:... Read More


  1. 1
    This may be entirely a fish of a different color (I know I have that wrong) but I just took a job in a rest home. I was feeling desperate after having my license for a year, and very few interviews. I interviewed on a Thursday and was hired that day; started the following Monday, observing the LPN on duty. The job is essentially med pass and documentation, and the residents are somewhat independent. Mostly these are mentally ill people whose illness is under control. It's really like poor man's assisted living, and some residents are probably just poor and unable to live entirely independently.

    The rest home has two "units." For each unit I observed one day, and on the next day, I did the med pass while being observed. I also answered the ever ringing phone and responded to all sorts of other interruptions. One unit has 20 female residents, the other 36 male. There are lots of narcotics and psychotropics, also finger stick blood sugars and insulin on sliding scale. All documentation is on paper. Tomorrow I do the smaller unit on my own. I'm a basket case tonight, barely able to speak without crying.

    There's no way to know ahead of time who should be done first. The people who have been there for years have all the information about who gets what, when, in their heads. I spent every spare minute and hours before and after shift scouring the med records and jotting down who has meds due and at what time during my shift, so at least I know who to start with.

    I don't know how the people who do it got to the point where they are today. Primarily this is a job done by LPNs, though some are not LPNs and instead a designated "responsible person" (RP) who has had training in medication administration. (The one woman RP I trained with is worth many times her weight in gold, she DOES the job.) But it is a hellish job to do. I'm not sure what satisfaction can be derived from it. The pressure is immense. There is always too much to do and too little time. The first two days I ate my lunch sandwich standing in an alcove off the main office where we keep ice in a cooler to provide cold water for the residents to take their meds with.

    This is not the rewarding profession I thought I was getting into and now I feel like nursing school was the biggest mistake I made in my entire life. I'm not young but I am ready and willing to work hard and long, but this is just nuts.

    I was told there will be opportunities more in keeping with my RN in time. I was happy to take a job "below my license" as long as it offered patient contact, but I'm not sure I can do it. I don't think anyone should. There's no learning going on, it's just grind, grind, grind.

    Thanks for reading.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  2. 0
    I know, it is difficult. I have days where I feel like I didn't accomplish anything and I can't wrap my brain around how these nurses I work with have done this for two years and how they are so efficient. I know I will get there some day, and there are days where there is no personal satisfaction. When residents are yelling at me for pain meds, telling me how to do my job, what orders the doctor should be prescribing, etc. However, it is when residents and their family members share their life stories with me or put their blind trust in me to care for them - are the days that getting up at 4 am and working two hours past my shift are truly worth it.
    I know that my entire career will not be spent in LTC, but I know that the experience I am gaining now is invaluable.
    Best of luck to you. My advice, hang in there. Talk to your supervisor, ask for pointers, always be safe and be patient with yourself.
  3. 0
    I was a new grad when I started working in LTC. I was excited and nervous. I came from a country with no nursing homes and the equipments are not the same. And some drug names. So it was kinda difficult for me. Add to the burden is the fact that some movies portray nursing home patients as being rude, needy, mean, always yelling.

    It wasn't bad as first because the residents are friendly and we had only 18 patients then(it's been a year). But lately the census went up to 23, and the latest additions are pretty much dependent, some with major disabilities. Before we have no resident with "psychotic" tendencies, now we have 3. And really our days would have been easier if we are not constantly running after them when they try to harm the other residents or try to escape.

    It takes me almost 3 hours to pass my meds. Which isn't really bad. But what really makes me tired is the constant call lights. There are days that I can't even eat my lunch.

    It's exhausting - Yes.
    It's stressful - Yes.
    It's physically demanding - Yes.

    But its all worth it every time you see the residents smile, when you see the pain vanishing, if you hear them say thank you, and if you feel that they treat you as a family.
  4. 0
    Hi i am a new grad RN too. got an offer at a nursing home for am 7- 3 pm shift . just wondering, they offer a 6 week orientation but they are offering me a much lower salary for the first 3 months (including the orientation) is this normal?
    thanks
  5. 0
    Hi i am a new grad RN too. got an offer at a nursing home for am 7- 3 pm shift . just wondering, they offer a 6 week orientation but they are offering me a much lower salary for the first 3 months (including the orientation) is this normal?
    thanks
  6. 0
    Yes, a lower salary for orientation is pretty standard, at least where I am. 6 weeks of orientation is NOT standard. You are lucky to be given that much time. Good luck.
  7. 0
    I started to post here about my job in a LTC as an RN, and it made me feel once again that I need to decide if this job is worth the stress I have over it.
  8. 1
    I thought I wrote about this somewhere, but the end to my particular story is that I worked two weeks and gave my two week notice. The place was dangerous. The DON essentially lived at the facility, filling in gaps in the schedule; she called her husband in to do maintenance work on a volunteer basis. Nurses or RPs worked double shifts as a matter of course. The company could not always meet payroll. No policies and procedures. After my relationship with the company was severed, I reported them to the Department of Public Health and OSHA. I'm still pursuing payment for cost of treatment for a needle stick injury; they had no insurance at the time of my injury. They had no procedure in place for a needle stick injury and as a new nurse, I didn't know exactly what should be done and when; luckily, the source was low risk. I learned a lot from this experience but it was not the best way to learn and could have had very dire consequences.

    Good luck. Get out if it is dangerous. Report dangerous conditions to the overseeing authorities.
    sunshyne17 likes this.
  9. 0
    I am also got hired in a Nursing home after years of being inactive as a nurse. I have 2 shifts on weekends. 16hours of work. I am just scared now because I don't know what to do.

    Are there books made specifically for RN Nursing home care?
    Can you please suggest some really good books to read?
  10. 1
    It's rough being a new grad RN in a nursing home full of very experienced LPNs and CNAs. They look at me like I'm supposed to know a lot of stuff because of education. But... a new career is still a new career! I feel pretty inadequate and try really hard not to make mistake. I think they want to make me do charge soon... trying to stall it since I don't quite feel comfortable yet.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.


Top