What is a proper orientation period for a new LPN?

  1. Hello,

    I would seriously like to know. In Eastern WA., most facilities will only offer a new LPN grad (1) week orientation at a LTC facility. I would think that with the acuity level - a month would be appropiate, even 2 weeks would feel right. Come on, RN's will receive TON's of time in a pediatric setting, orientating- So, on the flip-side, that must mean that Geriatrics just do not rate very high. Pretty lame.

    Can someone who might know, tell me why things are so messed up in the Nursing field overall.... I had an interview with a RN supervisor, in a LTC facility recently, tell me as a new LPN grad applicant that, "People either are able to get "IT", in a week, or they're not." What total B.S. I swear...

    God Bless...
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    Throughout my short career in LTC I've only received, at the most, 2 days orientation as a new nurse. I even worked at one place that only oriented me for one 8-hour shift, and this had been my very first job ever as a nurse. After the 8-hour orientation period I was cut loose to work on my own.

    You mentioned something about the acuity level of LTC. Actually, LTC tends to be low-acuity when compared to other fields of nursing because the patients are usually in stable condition with predictable outcomes. I have met numerous LTC nurses in my metropolitan area and through this website, and the typical orientation period in LTC is about 3 days. You should feel extraordinarily fortunate to be receiving a week of orientation, because most of the facility DONs and ADONs around here will laugh in your face if you need over 1 week. This includes new, inexperienced nurses. By the way, good luck.
  4. by   Fiona59
    Have to agree with Commuter. The most I've ever had (even as a new grad) was three day shifts and two evenings (we work rotational shifts here).

    The attitude is you learnt your meds and care as a student -- orientation is just a time to learn the layout of the unit, routine, patients faces.

    Even when I moved to Active/Acute Care it's five orientation shifts.

    It's paid employment, not paid clinical/practicum time. Employers feel that you are educated to the level needed to practice safely. You build your knowledge base and comfort level by working and they shouldn't be responsible for training you.
  5. by   txspadequeenRN
    The commuter is correct. My last facility only orientated for 3 days. I personally would rather have a very short orientation, maybe 1/2 day to see the different paperwork but other than that Id rather be let loose. If you are a brand new nurse complete what ever orientation they give you and seek the resources of the other nurses if you find yourself in trouble. We have all been new and understand.
  6. by   Elektra6
    I was very lucky and my facility orients new grads for 5+ weeks. (LTC) They feel it helps with retention. Most new grads oriented here stay at least a year.
  7. by   alitak
    Thanks for the info, and advice. I guess I need to change how I am viewing the whole orientation process. But 3 days? That isn't even enough time to safely discern one patient from another, especially in LTC, where residents look so similiar, y'know?..

    Anyway, I guess I need to get my attitude right, or decide that LTC just isn't for me, I don't know. I just know that if there was 2 weeks available for orientation, even if it didn't take me that long to adjust, just knowing that I had that in place would mean the world to me. It sounds like that is a pipe dream, apparently. I probably do belong in a clinic/office setting.

    Thanks...
  8. by   Bala Shark
    I hear that RNs get many months, even 4 months for a new grad..
  9. by   jamangel
    Most of the times you have to rely on the nursing assistants and your fellow co-worker who knows the patient to tell you who they are in places where the arm-band policy isn't adhered to (spec. for patients that can't tell you who they are).
  10. by   nursn4me
    Alitak,


    I am in Va. and I have several nursing friends. It really depends on what area of Nursing you choose. For ltc in Virginia you are usually given a week of orientation and then they cut the tie for new grads. If you choose to work in a hospital then you will usually be given 3-4 months of orientation. I hope this helps, so it appears that a week of orientation is the norm for LTC. I do believe that a week is not enough, because in most LTC facilities you will be the charge nurse and have many responsibilities. I am sure you will get thru it and do fine if you choose to accept a position in LTC facility. My friend did just fine. Good luck!!!!

    Nursn4me
  11. by   RXCT
    I received about 9 days w/ a preceptor. She was very sloppy w/ her work & quick quick (because cig breaks were #1). I was glad to be let go on my own. Just remember there is always a nrsg super. in the bldg to call. You'll be fine!
    Good Luck
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    I had 6 weeks orientation in med-surg and am in the middle of another 6 weeks in my permanent assignment in ambulatory care and I still didn't quite think it was enough because we had no consistant perceptor. But, somehow, I made it. I do worry about working at nursing homes, though, because of the amount of patients they assign to the LPN. I see that the ratio may be about 1:40. Too scary for me as a new grad.
  13. by   LegginMF
    I am a new grad and I got 4 hrs of orientation. This is thru a home health agency and the pt I oriented with is ventilator dependant. I about died laughing because a week afer my 4 hrs of training I got a certificate in the mail saying that I had completed a ventilator training program.. So am I correct in saying that I am now vent certified? What a joke! Jody
  14. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from LegginMF
    I am a new grad and I got 4 hrs of orientation. This is thru a home health agency and the pt I oriented with is ventilator dependant. I about died laughing because a week afer my 4 hrs of training I got a certificate in the mail saying that I had completed a ventilator training program.. So am I correct in saying that I am now vent certified? What a joke! Jody
    If the state actually believes that the limited clinical experience in school and NCLEX-PN deems us to be safe practitioners, then God help them. I had two days of learning IV techniques (which consisted of watching a film) and now, I am certified. When I went to the floor, all of the nurses were doing the IV care so differently that I never got the picture...but, I am certified! What a scary world.

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