I was an LPN for 4 years and absolutely loved my career in LTC. I completed the RN-BSN recently and felt the best career move was to get some acute care hospital experience. I was lucky to get a job at a Chicago hospital on a telemetry/Med-Surg floor, because most hospitals still considered me a new grad and wouldn't count the LTC as actual experience.
Heres the dilemna, I just don't feel the same satisfaction as I did in LTC. I've only been at my new job for a few months, it has gotten easier, but everday is stressful, with discharges & admissions, and I am so busy I feel I don't have time to think clearly. Many evenings I leave disappointed because I didn't have the time to give the kind of care I would have liked to. I keep telling myself that I am just uncomfortable, I don't know everything yet, it's hard being the new one, that I will learn to love it. I love geriatrics, I love LTC and rehab/sub acute care. I received a great sense of satisfaction that even though the workload was crazy busy, I did all I could to make sure quality care was provided. I could make sure that nursing home didn't have to be a terrible place, I could make sure that a dying patient was pain free and able to labor into death with dignity, I could make sure that my residents were hydrated, nourished, positioned - pressure ulcer free, up attending activities, chronic conditions managed, thoroughly assessed - acute illness detected promptly and treated properly, and maintain relationships with family members who would give me such delight when they would say " I'm glad you're here because I know Mom is okay, the nursing staff is taking good care of her."
Perhaps I can build a career in LTC. Perhaps I might want to eventually pursue management opportunities where I can continue to pursue my interest of improving conditions in LTC while advancing my career.
I just can't shake the feeling that I have to put in my time in an acute care setting. I feel like people respect that fact that I am a "real" nurse now that I have a hospital job.