Which job would be better for a new LPN?

  1. Hi, I'm once again grateful for the wise people on All Nurses!

    I am a new LPN, and have two offers. My eventual goal is to become a RN and work in Psych.

    First job is to work for a residential program dispensing methadone to pregnant addicts. It is 9-5, no weekends, no holidays (dreamy, yes?). Pay is okay, good university benefits.

    Second job is at a rehab unit of a LTC facility that specializes in wound care. It is basically a long term care med/surg unit; they accept everyone except for ventilator-dependent patients. It is for a 3-11 shift; and all new admissions on on this shift. Staffing levels seem to vary from 10-15 pts per nurse. They assure me that I'm qualified and that they will train me well, and have had other new grads be successful in this role. It does pay considerably more than the methadone job, but I can get by on the lesser salary.

    For a new grad, I suppose that the rehab job would be a better learning experience, but I've heard so many horror stories, and don't want to get stuck at 9 pm by myself with the Code Brown hitting the fan. And, med/surg is not my long term interest, but I wonder if I'll ever consider myself a "real nurse" until I've mastered the shifts from H&*(.

    Your wisdom is once again appreciated.

    Thanks, e
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Personally, I would take the pysch job, if it fits in with your LPN to RN program. This is more in line with your long-term goals.

    No need to stress yourself out and if your interest is pysch, no need to hone med-surg skills in LTC with high patient ratios.
  4. by   sleepyndopey
    I'm an LPN and I've worked in psych, drug rehab, and long term care. I know what I'm talking about here. Take the methadone job. You will really regret it if you don't. If you want to do psych when you finish RN program the experience will look good on your resume. I left a job on a psych unit to go to LTC(same hospital system, the hours were better for my school schedule) and I now know I made the wrong decision. Stick with what you like. Good luck.
  5. by   kat7ap
    LTC Rehab can be absolutely hellish and completely overwhelming for a new grad. They will tell you anything to get you in the door, I wouldn't be too trusting of any facility. Are you going to be admitting all these new pts or is there an admit nurse in the evening? If you have to admit new pts on your own and take a load of 10-15, I would run away from there and never come back! However passing methodone to PG pts doesn't sound like my ideal job, but the hours and benefits sound great.
  6. by   mclar
    I am actually in the same boat. I have an offer for a detox center,8-4pm, very good salary, and benefits. I am working on my RN online. I'm afraid I wont get enough experience in a detox center. My long term goal is to work as an CC nurse, no one will hire me as an LPN though. Dont really know what to expect from a detox unit
  7. by   Godswill
    I say if you like psych take the psych job. i did LTC and i loved it , hell i still love it. But i am going to the hospital next week to do post op. I know i will miss LTC so I am still going to work a couple days a pay period at my LTC. So my suggestion is to do what you love.
  8. by   chapter7
    Hi, I would like to know if the online RN is good, I am working a difficult schedule and I am not able to go the school, please if you can tell if the online school is good please, thanks.
  9. by   jmking
    Take the pysch job! I graduate in March and I work at small mental health facility. I want to be psych nurse too. Don't stress over ltc if that is not what you want to do.

    Jennifer
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    If there is a way to work per diem at the LTC facility, I would do that on the side. I keep hearing that it is better to have bedside nursing as a background, but have not seen this for me as of yet. I work in a clinic with weekends and holidays off. I do have side jobs as a vaccination, home care and med-surg per diem nurse. I do this on the side for padding the resume. Personally, the only bedside nursing I like is home care because I can give all of my attention to one client. Maybe taking the psych deal would be beneficial for now, but keep in mind the schedule you have for school. If the RN program primarily functions in the daytime, it may be difficult to complete if you are working days.
  11. by   Mycherry05
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    If there is a way to work per diem at the LTC facility, I would do that on the side. I keep hearing that it is better to have bedside nursing as a background, but have not seen this for me as of yet. I work in a clinic with weekends and holidays off. I do have side jobs as a vaccination, home care and med-surg per diem nurse. I do this on the side for padding the resume. Personally, the only bedside nursing I like is home care because I can give all of my attention to one client. Maybe taking the psych deal would be beneficial for now, but keep in mind the schedule you have for school. If the RN program primarily functions in the daytime, it may be difficult to complete if you are working days.

    I guess I am in the minority here(LOL) but even tho I like Psych, I would rec. the LTC job. You will get some psych patients, but you will make better money, 10-15 patients in LTC? That is awesome! I just came from a place where I had 30-35.You will get so much more experience in LTC than anywhere else. JMO
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from Mycherry05
    I guess I am in the minority here(LOL) but even tho I like Psych, I would rec. the LTC job. You will get some psych patients, but you will make better money, 10-15 patients in LTC? That is awesome! I just came from a place where I had 30-35.You will get so much more experience in LTC than anywhere else. JMO
    Basically, I was thinking of the benefit of completing the RN course with little distractions. And, I can agree with you; 10-15 patients in LTC is almost unheard of! I would even do that!
  13. by   iwanna
    I am 50, currently on disablity, thinking of returning to nursing. I did not get into nursing until later in life. I graduated when I was 40. I worked mainly in behavioral health. Althouugh, I did work briefly on PT basis at a nursing home. I hated the LTC. I was overhwhelmed and stayed in bed on my days off because I was so exhausted. I had 50 pts. to give meds to and do dressing changes. I absolutely hated that job. It was just me and another LPN, and two aides. We each had approx. 50 pts.
    But, then I later found a job in a drug rehab in a hospital. I loved it! Unfortunately, they closed after 18 months. But, then I found a job in psych hosptial in a neighboring state. I liked that job. I had children, adolscents, adults, and geri-psych. I actually enjoyed my geri-psych. But, we had the best workers. We were all a team. I really felt bad when they dropped the geri-psych pts. However, we only had about 15 - 20 pts. on the unit. We had one LPN, one RN, and two aides. It really depends on the facility where you work.
    If you want the psych field, I would take job at methadone clinic. Let us know what you decide and how the job is.
    Good Luck to you.
  14. by   Conqueror+
    Take the job that will allow you to complete your RN ASAP.

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