I'm a Canadian citizen living and working in Florida as a PN, I graduated PN last year and am working in an LTC.
My original goal was to continue on to RN and get my BSN here in FL before returning to Alberta, but now I'm having second thoughts and could use your input.
My family is all in Alberta; my kids left Florida because of the lousy economy here so now they're both in Edmonton working. Yeah, I miss them. My parents are in rural southwestern Alberta and my sister in Calgary. So its just me left in FL and I'm missing my family.
If I continue on to RN and BSN it'll take me 3 years and another $10k at least. I'm not getting any younger and really don't know at this point if its worth doing since I have no desire to work in a hospital. I also have to consider the economic situation here for the next few years, which is bleak.
I'm aware of the process for licensing as a PN in Alberta. I've already contacted CLPNA for an out of province application and I know there are specific dates on which the CPNRE can be written. I've also ordered the study guide for the CPNRE. Can you recommend other study guides?
I'm considering going to rural southwestern Alberta; the area around Lethbridge. I know the Good Samaritan Society has LTCs in that area. What are other entities that operate LTCs in southwestern Alberta? Can you provide a link?
Now some more questions; I know you can't give specifics but tell me what you can.
How hard is it to get a job as a PN in southwestern Alberta such as Lethbridge, Magrath, or Cardston? My parents are in Pincher Creek and I like that area of Alberta.
What is the nurse/patient ratio in LTCs?
Are there required additional courses that need to be taken before working in LTC?
Thanks for any advice you may have.
Jun 4, '10
Why do you want to work LTC? Genuine love of the area or is it because that is where your experience is?
LPNs in AB can work in pretty much any area. How long was your education in Florida? Up here it is two years at College (it's been described as the old RN programme that was in use until a few years ago). So you may need a few more courses.
The current regime in the Legislature is destroying LTC as we know it. More and more is being pushed into private ADL facilities, where "customer service with a smile is the norm".
Continuing Care is the poor stepchild of Alberta Health Services. Rumour has it positions are being left vacant while the residents are more dependent than ever. It's basically personal care, meds administration, charting, and some wound care. The ratios are kind of weird. I remember the NAs on days having 8-10 patients, then the LPN workload depended on the facility. It's quite normal for the LPN to have am care for five then meds for 25-30 (any wound care, tube feeds, etc are also all yours). Other facilities have dedicated med rounds for one LPN but the wound care done by a separate nurse. The RN is usually responsible for two or more units (depends on the shift).
The CLPNA website has a jobs area with links to the region you are interested. The majority of sites are unionized and the rates of pay reflect it.
Just remember you are NOT restricted to LTC in AB. Have a good look at the AHS website for the region you are considering.
Jun 4, '10
Thanks Fiona. I'm currently working in an LTC here in Florida; I do like geriatrics including the Alzheimers, dementia and Parkinsons patients. I will probably continue on in longterm care and possibly home health and hospice.
I'll be in southern Alberta and Edmonton in July and plan on doing some more investigating then.