Does starting in a LTC limit you?

Posted

Hi guys,

So I am finishing up my CNA course and will be certified next month. I was hired by a local LTC facility who will allow me to work even before I'm licensed which is great because it's a guaranteed employment that's close to home. I start nursing school in the fall. My end goal is to become an NP in private practice.

My plan is to work as an RN in a hospital and continue as I go through school. I wanted to be a CNA to get my foot in the door and kind of guarantee an RN job right after school since it's so hard to RNs to get jobs with no prior experience. I know CNA does not count as nursing experienceA so it won't help me as a new grad but I thought being a CNA I could find a job in the same hospital I worked in.

I've applied to many hospital jobs and they seem harder to get than LTC which practically give away jobs. I heard before that once you start in LTC you are stuck there for good in your nursing career which is NOT what I want at all. I want the patient contact experience and the networking advantage and to get some experience.

So guys what should I do?

1.Take the job and continue working through nursing school and hope I can get a job in a hospital afterwards?

2. Keep looking for a hospital CNA job? They're hard to come by with no experience

3. Work here 6 months then try and find a hospital CNA job?

Does working in LTC mean employers won't see you as anything but a LTC nurse?

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing. 1,790 Posts

Many people are able to make the jump from LTC to Hospital. I started as a CNA in LTC and then moved to a hospital after working there a little over a year. I think it is worth taking the LTC job to get experience. After a time you can decide if you like the facility and want to stay throughout your schooling or try for a hospital position.

Also working as a LTC nurse doesn't mean you are doomed to stay in LTC. Most of the nurses I work with started in LTC and after a couple of years moved on to other jobs in hospital settings.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I started my career in LTC and later received hospital job offers with the LTC experience on my resume, so it did not limit my chances. By the way, I did not accept the hospital job offers because LTC paid more. Money is important to me.

I now have a relatively cushy work-from-home case management RN job. My extensive LTC experience helped me land this job.

SquishyRN

SquishyRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma, Med-Surg/Tele, LTC. Has 12 years experience. 516 Posts

I started in LTC and now work in a Level I ER. In between I worked in an LTACH and was cross-trained in ICU. Lots of people transition easily into acute settings from LTC.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU. 2,395 Posts

I have held several positions, in LTC as ADON, MDS coord., several stints as DON, but because of 4+decades experience worked local ER, an exceptional LVN I worked with in LTC, works more than full time, in our local rural hospital on med surg..... She is very sought after......

bsnorbust

bsnorbust

26 Posts

Thanks for your input guys. The LTC facility is really flexible with me which is crucial because I want to work throughout nursing school. I'm going to take the job and get some experience and see where it takes me. I don't wasnt to make the mistake of being too greedy. Although I'd love to start off in a hospital, they are really difficult to get with no experience.

Not_A_Hat_Person

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience. 2,900 Posts

I've had the opposite experience. I started in LTC because the economy collapsed just after I graduated, and I needed to pay the bills. I haven't been able to find a hospital job, despite years of trying, because I have no hospital experience. Hospitals in my area want travelers, BSN new grads, or nurses with 3-5 years of experience in the specialty they're applying for.

SquishyRN

SquishyRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma, Med-Surg/Tele, LTC. Has 12 years experience. 516 Posts

I've had the opposite experience. I started in LTC because the economy collapsed just after I graduated, and I needed to pay the bills. I haven't been able to find a hospital job, despite years of trying, because I have no hospital experience. Hospitals in my area want travelers, BSN new grads, or nurses with 3-5 years of experience in the specialty they're applying for.

I think it really has a lot to do with your area. Even in Southern California (where I am) and its tight market, everyone I know who wanted to go into acute care eventually got there after some time. The big hospital systems generally want what you've said (travelers, BSN new grads, or experienced nurses), but the smaller community hospitals have always still been willing to take LTC nurses into Med-Surg (still BSN though) My hospital system actually doesn't even make distinctions between new grads and experienced nurses not from that specialty, they throw everyone into the training program of whatever specialty they got hired into if they've never worked in it before.