New RN, first job, little disheartened.

  1. Hi all,
    I just graduated in May, and got my RN in June. The market here is saturated with new grads, so I took a job at a very nice LTC in my area. I've worked for exactly one week and I'm feeling really sad. I am basically working as a medication aide, not using ANY of my nursing skills, and feel like I was hired because they needed an RN on the unit to satisfy some sort of requirement. All my clinicals and preceptorship were hospital work, I am not used to not looking at vitals, labs, etc. They have PAPER MARs, which totally blows my mind. The residents are the only bright spot, they are delightful. But the autonomy that I expected from this profession is not there. I am pushing a huge med cart around a HUGE facility, medicating 25+ patients 3 times a day plus PRNs, and I'm really down about it. Please help, I really want to work in an acute care setting. Should I keep applying and leave (with notice) if I get an offer? Or should I stick it out for a year? Is this job going to be a stigma on my record? How do I keep my knowledge and skills current?
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    About NC4RN

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 18; Likes: 7


  3. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Does this facility have a short term unit? You won't lose any skills on a short term floor. I'm sending some of my nurses to class to learn how to insert PICC won't get THAT working in a hospital.
  4. by   SarahRN2013
    Are you thinking of staying for a year to be able to say that you have "experience"? From what I've seen, quite a few hospital job openings (though certainly not all) will not consider your year in LTC as "experience."
  5. by   Lovely_RN
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    Does this facility have a short term unit? You won't lose any skills on a short term floor. I'm sending some of my nurses to class to learn how to insert PICC won't get THAT working in a hospital.
    We definitely don't do this in the hospital (sounds cool). Also the med pass during day shift in the hospital is nothing to write home about either. Sometimes it feels like that's 90% of what you're doing and you barely get to assess your patients when you work on the floor. Maybe critical care or ED nurses have a different experience but I find the med pass during day shift in hospital/SNF/LTC to be never-ending and tedious.
  6. by   NC4RN
    There is a rehab unit, that has short-term patients. I don't know if I'll be on that unit or not. Right now they have me orienting with the Alzheimer's/dementia unit with long term residents. I know the med pass in the hospital takes a lot of time, but you also do myriad other things, like patient education, complimentary therapies, and plan care. This is just. . . finding the residents and either spoon-feeding their meds to them crushed in some horrific concoction, or watching them swallow their pills. I'm proud of my clinical skills, I worked hard to earn them, and this job depresses me. Again, I love the residents. They're human beings in a very vulnerable place in their lives, and I treat them with the utmost dignity and respect. I just want to be in a place where there is hope of my patients getting better, and to know that there are things that I am equipped with to facilitate that healing.
  7. by   hotflashion
    I have no words of wisdom as I feel the same way. Except that I'm working in assisted living which is a residence and in my state, anyway, nurses don't do treatments in assisted living, we call in visiting nurses. At 3 years out of nursing school, I have lost my skills in any case. Although the assisted living facility I work in now feels like a warehouse and a sales machine, I hope to eventually find a place where the focus is on providing for the residents. I love the residents and like feeling that I'm helping them to stay healthy and live a better life; I also find dementia fascinating. What I've heard about working in hospitals doesn't make me wish I was working in that setting. I think I've been disappointed that the fairy tale of nursing does not exist, the ideal of nursing that they taught us about in school.

    FWiW, I have heard of nurses moving into hospital setting after 6 months in LTC. Keep looking for your next job now, while you are working. Some new grad residency programs accept nurses with a short employment history.

    Good luck.

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