Quote from aegirl
I was just offered a full-time day rotating position at a VA hospital on the subacute floor. I'm a new LPN. I've worked in LTC for 8 months...i'm comfortable in my current job, I work on the rehab floor. I was going to leave before, then decided against it. Things have been kind of up and down at my current job. I wouldn't be take a pay cut and you can't beat the benefits. People at work say I don't want to work there from what they've heard...but friends and family think i'm nuts if I don't take it. I really want to take the position because of the opportunities they have...I want to get my RN asap, but I don't want to not like it either. That's a risk you take with any job change though. What are you experiences with the VA...would you recommend it? I'm curious about seniority here...if you've been in the military previously does that carry over to when you work at the VA? I've never been in the military but was curious if say you were in the military for 10 years if that 10 years would carry over to the VA. Thanks!
Never been in military but my co workers at the VA who have say years served in military are carried over retirement. I am a new grad RN working for the VA and I really hated it at first: crying when I get home, staying 1/2 hour past my shift to finish charting, looking for a different job left and right, you name it. Then I got off day shift training and into my permanent evening shift and no more staying past my shift; I got charting done on time. Just 3 days ago, my 2nd month at the VA, I accepted a job at a SNF despite over $5 paycut and 3 weeks less annual leave time. See i was always afraid of leaving the VA only to find out other hospitals are just as bad and less pay and benefits. Like you, my family and friends think I am crazy for wanting to leave the VA. Pay and benefits are really good, but boy it is crazy at the VA! But then again what nursing job isn't??? Nursing shortage is pandemic but it seems it's not necessarily that we don't have enough people going in to nursing.....I think it is more that they cannot afford to have enough nurses on the floor.
Anyway, so I worked 1 day at the SNF and on my 1st hour there I realized I've been spoiled at the hospital with all the ameneties, supplies and equipment we have and easily waste when not needed. Then there's the luxury of having lots of really smart RNs and MDs who are a desk away or phone call away from you when you don't know what to do about something. Good thing I didn't formally quit at the VA to start at the SNF that one day; I simply called in sick to check out how it was at the SNF.
I think if you like LTC, you might like it at the VA too because LPNs at hospitals have a routine job such as passing meds (they;re like married to their med carts!), and other txs. But when you become an RN at the hospital, your job would not be so routine and it can become really overwhelming at times......you have to be constantly assessing directly and indirectly your pts for any changes, report those changes to MDs as necessary, pass meds and do txs, educate pts, delegate tasks and others. At the VA, it seems RNs are constantly on the phone with MDs or pharmacists. I begin to wonder if that's just at the VA.
I hope this helps. Bottomline is I think that nursing has its ups and downs and not all days are like the others. Some day I feel I went into the wrong profession, some days I feel great and proud to be a nurse. I hope this helps!!