Starting in a Nursing home vs. Starting in a Hospital

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I am a new nursing graduate (BSN Aug 3rd, 2013). Nursing is my second career so I now have 2 bachelors degrees. I had a 3.5 GPA and looking for jobs. Some hospitals have a hiring freeze and I want to start working as soon as I pass boards.

    Has anyone started in a nursing home? Any comments or suggestions? I have hospital opportunities but not in the near future. I wanted to start medical surgical in a hospital setting but I have the feeling that will be hard to get right now.

    thanks in advance


    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 23 Comments...

  3. 1
    Hi Sunshyne!!

    I am also a new BSN graduate (May, 2013). I have passed my boards and have RN licenses in Two states. Not to discourage you, but I think no one really cares for your credentials or academics (from my own job hunt experience). ONLY connections work in this job market. I have two bachelors an one masters degree and a GPA of above 3.9, but no connections..... ...... so every time get the usual response "at this time we are pursuing another candidate whose SKILLS best match the job requirement". But the truth is people got hired even without an open advertised RN positions.
    sunshyne17 likes this.
  4. 0
    Thanks anie76. You're right, in this market, beggars can't be choosers. Some graduate nurse residencies require a certain GPA which is why I mentioned. Congratulations to you for maintaining such an amazing GPA through nursing school!

    In case anyone else feedback, I was looking more for comments related to pros and cons of beginning in a nursing home as opposed to starting in a hospital.

  5. 0

    I would like to chime in till you get an expert advice . I'd say that if you are getting an offer from a nursing home, accept it just to get your foot in the door and you can still apply for hospital jobs. And this way you will have something to write about professional RN experience in your résumé. Unfortunately, I don't see any positives about hospitals hiring new grads so, we need to start somewhere. I'd also love to hear about pros and cons from experts in these areas.

    And thanks for the wishes, I wish the employers would have recognized & appreciated my efforts of maintaining such a good GPA.........especially in an accelerated program........ ...sigh!!

    I know how difficult and stressful the job hunt is....just can only say that keep going..........we shall def reach our ultimate goal.
  6. 1
    Thanks anie,

    I am pleased to announce I did receive a job offer! I am waiting to get everything in writing. I am nervous about the ratios but you are right - getting my foot in the door is crucial to getting that all important nursing experience. Once I get everything signed and official, I will ask the recruiter what made her call me because I swear during the interview I heard at LEAST 5 times "we don't usually hire new nurses."
    acedit likes this.
  7. 0
    I'll be starting my first nursing job in a nursing home doing subacute rehab in 2 days. Although it is far from my long term goal of being a Neonatal NP, I feel it will teach me a lot and give me a good start. Hospital jobs are hard to get for new grads, just have to be lucky to land one. Can't always get what you want to begin with, just have to work hard and put in your time, learn as much as possible then spread your wings. It's worth applying to every place you can, whether it be LTC, hospitals, or wherever else. I've only obtained a per diem position so I'm continuing to apply daily to hospitals.

    I think a nursing home is a good place to learn about things such as time management and other nursing skills that a new grad may not be great at just yet. I hope I'm not being naive, but I find it hard to believe that once you work in a nursing home it's the only place you can ever work as a hospital doesn't consider it experience. I hear that often from former classmates and I disagree. Good luck in your search!
  8. 1
    Just to straighten out the misconception about the "hiring freeze" in hospitals.

    The only hiring freeze is for new grads. Hospitals have gotten sleazy and they don't want to hire new grads because it's difficult to train them, not all of them work out, so it's a financial risk to the company. If the new grad goes through 4 months of orientation and then has to be asked to resign, that's $30,000 (perhaps more) down the drain for the company.

    Hospitals need experienced, proven nurses badly, but they are not getting them, only constant applications from new grads or people without relevant or recent experience.

    It is difficult to find and hire experienced nurses for acute care, because once you've been an acute care RN for a couple years there is very little motivation to change employers, as every hospital offers the same deal. The few acute care nurses who are willing to change hospitals, are snapped up by recruiters immediately.

    Once you get over the hump of getting the initial acute experience, you'll be able to work anywhere you want, anywhere in the country. However, by that point you probably won't care anymore.

    I'm a proven acute care nurse, I have a briefcase full of awards and certifications and I don't care what's out there. I don't care what they have to offer. Talking to recruiters really puts me off. If I decide to "change jobs" I'd rather move within my organization. There is a vast number of choices, units and positions within our organization which is very attractive.

    Most of my coworkers on the floor think like me and this explains why successful acute care nurses are in demand as generally they don't like to change organizations. They will move from med-surg to PACU or from med-surg to day surgery, but generally they stay with our company. Learning the nuances of a completely new organization is a tremendous pain in the butt, generally not worth the meager raise they will offer you.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edit by Concerto_in_C on Sep 7, '13
    KaLynRN likes this.
  9. 0
    Hey Sunshyne,

    I am glad to know that you got a job. How wonderful!!! ......CONGRATULATIONS!!!!. .......are u going to work in a hospital, clinic or home care???
  10. 0
    Why is it "sleazy" to be fiscally responsible?
  11. 0
    I started my nursing career in a LTC/Nursing Home setting and I don't regret it at all. I learned a lot, and the year I spent there made me feel like a true nurse. It's hard to explain, that intangible AHA moment when you're on your way to work and you suddenly realize "I'm a nurse." You'll see what I mean soon enough.

    Anyway, I've since moved on to Long Term ACUTE Care, which is basically like working a high-ratio ICU step-down. That change, however, was due to "knowing the right people" which will ALWAYS give you an advantage across the board, really. I dare say even more so in our field of work.

    Good luck!

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors