Choosing b/w Psych. Center and Veterans Nursing Home!!

  1. 0
    Hello All!!

    I have had a hard time getting hired as a RN, job hunting is not the best thing to do in the world as all of you know.

    I finally have two job prospects, both away from where I live and I will have to relocate.
    One is a Psych. Center and other is a Nursing home.

    What could be the pros and cons of taking either jobs.
    If I take the Psych job, I don't wish to end up in psych forever, and if I take the nursing home job I don't wish to be a Rehab./LTC nurse all my life.

    I just wish to gain some experience that increases my chances of getting hired into a good hospital, where I could advance my career.

    Any advice or comment will be appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Does the nursing home have a sub-acute unit? If so, many hospitals (in Cali anyway) will *consider* that experience to get an acute care job. But personally, the psych sounds more interesting. Tough call but at least you have two prospects!! So congrats on that!
  4. 2
    The only way you'd be in psych--or LTC--forever is if you let yourself be pigeonholed. Many nurses have made the transition between specialities. It may not be instantaneous to get out of psych or LTC, especially in this job market, but it's not impossible.

    Pick the job that sounds more interesting to you and sign on. I'm personally a fan of psych...and if you think about it, psych patients are everywhere, even in the LTCs . So what you learn there will travel with you. But LTC is nothing to be sneezed at either, because you will be a master at time management and dealing with older adults when you are done. And in BOTH specialities there will be opportunities for using your medical knowledge, since neither group of patients checks their medical issues at the door at admission...especially if you go for sub-acute, geropsych or psych acute medical.

    Work your year, then look at applying at hospital jobs. You'll have a year's nursing experience under your belt, which makes you a better candidate than the average new grad or worse, an old grad with no experience.

    Of course, you could also start looking for hospital work before the year is up and if you find it, jump.

    I honestly can't think of a con for taking either job. New grad jobs are very few and far between, and the fact that two landed at your feet is something. Either job is RN experience and IMO looks a lot better on a resume than an empty space because you were waiting on a hospital-only job. Look at all of the Old Grad threads here and you will see what I mean...the longer you are unemployed, the harder it will be to stay competitive against the continual crop of new grads.

    Best of luck whatever you decide!
    amoLucia and Macann like this.
  5. 0
    hi gingerbell, i am not too sure if the nursing home has a acute care floor, i am thinking more upon taking the nursing home side as this place will slightly keep me more inclined to the med-surge side.
    psych is a different adventure in itself, just hoping i don't take too long to decide, b'cos i am very slow at decision making.

    the one good part that i see in both jobs is that they are state jobs and it will give me an option of a transfer.

    thank you so much for writing
    gingerbell and meriwhen
    god bless
  6. 0
    Most nurses I know that worked for the VA in LTC loved his/her job and in some cases continued to work PT after transitioning into the acute care setting. So, your goals are definitely possible starting in a VA position. Good luck.
  7. 0
    Are both in the VA? Or is just the LTC a VA job? If only the LTC is in the VA, I would go with that one. Once you're in the VA system it is easier to transfer to a different unit - say med/surg, tele, etc. after some experience.
  8. 0
    Hi majisdicp,

    The LTC and the Psych both are state jobs, the LTC is not a VA job, its just a veterans home,
    sorry for the confusion!!
  9. 0
    Oh OK. Well, that makes it a little bit harder to decide. But I still think the LTC may offer more acuity than psych (more meds, maybe there will be central lines, tube feedings, etc.).


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