Advice for newer RN to LTC supervisor position

Specialties Geriatric


Hi everyone! I'm new to LTC. I'm a newer RN less than a years experience. I graduated May 08 started on a cardiac unit, worked there for almost 4 months and realized it wasn't for me. I've been doing some nurse consultant work for a couple of group homes for DD/MR that I worked as a hab-tech for during nursing school. I also work as a nurse for home care (PCS). I was just offered a job in a LTC facility as an RN supervisor.

It's just a part-time position (every other weekend 7A-7P). I'm glad for that, because I kind of just want to get my feet wet. It has a 120 resident capacity. I'm supposed to be oriented to the floor as a staff nurse to get a feel for the floor, then trained as a supervisor. I'm kind of nervous yet excited about the position. I was wondering if any of you had any advice for a newer nurse starting out in this position. I would really appreciate it. Thanks everyone!

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

I think it is good to train on the floor as a nurse first, then do the supervisor training.

There are a few good threads on the LTC forum for advice too.

achot chavi

980 Posts

Specializes in acute care and geriatric.

I agree with Michelle, You will get great experience, learn a lot, and hopefully get a chance to do good nursing- and enjoy yourself

You will be more valuable as a nurse with the experience.


12 Posts

Specializes in Long term care.

My story is a little similar to yours. I started out on a Neuro ICU stepdown. Stayed about 4 months or so :down:. I also worked PRN in LTC as a charge nurse and loved the LTC setting. After 6 months, I was offered a supervisor position which I turned down. I was offered the position 4 other times. Finally after a year I took it and love it. As far as advice, Be straight and fair across the board. No one is your friend. Not sure of the exerience the charge nurses you will work with have( I have 4/6 of mine new grad LPNs) dont do the thinking for them. have them use thier critical thinking skills, you are a resource.

Specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC.

I actually started as an RN supervisor right after I finished orientation, since I was the only RN on the night shift (LPN has always worked on the 2nd floor). It's not too bad in my building, but I'm not the "tough guy" which my ADON wanted me to become. I feel as if I'm fair but don't like disciplining people. If i had any questions I would immediately call my ADON for advice. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but most of my position entailed taking call outs and just dealing with personnel issues.

And, although I don't feel as if I'm management, per se, it looks GREAT on a resume. I'm getting a hospital interview for having that on mine!

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,090 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

I wouldn't hire someone with so little experience as a supervisor. The supervisor needs to be able to think on her feet in any situation and how can you do that with 4 months of experience?


351 Posts

I don't want to be negative but my reaction was very similar to CapeCodMermaids. I don't understand these LTCs that hire new grads to be house supervisors.

Specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC.

I didn't really get it either, and my DON wasn't aware that I had the position, even after about 5 months of working the position... hopefully soon I will be out of it, though.


8 Posts

5 months??? Wow.


55 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Thanks for all the responses both positive and negative. And kudos to Mskiesha and evilolive for starting out in LTC with little experience. I feel that if you two can do it, so can I. For those of you who are older and have more nursing experience, you don't understand the hurdles we new grads face. The job market is so tough right now. It's hard to get any nurse manager or DON to look our way b/c we don't have any experience.

As for the weekend supervisor position....I will not be taking it. I was offered an SDC position instead, which I am seriously considering taking. I told her I was worried about losing my skills, but she told me not to worry because I would be oriented to the floor, should there ever be staffing issues and I could fill in as charge. DON also said that she starts IV's and does blood draws when staff are behind or just need an extra hand. It'll give me a little administration experience either way. Thanks again for all the response.

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,090 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

SDC with only a few months experience? That's almost as bad as being a supervisor. As the SDC you're supposed to be the one doing teaching a training. And, please, just because some of us have years of experience, don't assume it was easy for us when we first started out.


114 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

My question is, how do you expect the experienced nurses to respect you in a management position when you essentially have no experience in LTC? (SDC is considered management where I work.)

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