Help!! Can new grad BSNs start in Long Term Care and move to the Hospital Setting?


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Izzy11, NP

1 Article; 97 Posts

Has 5 years experience.
Experience in a long term care setting is a good stepping stone to acute care. Considering that the aging baby boomers are the majority of hospital admissions in med-surg, the ER and the cardiac units, I have found that the slower pace of LTC gives you time to assimilate new information and skills. There are many quirks in the aging body that seem to go against standard trains of thought. LTC gives a good foundation at a pace that builds confidence.

I don't see LTC as having a slower pace. Having to crank out a morning med pass for 20+ residents, do assessments, treatments, a midday med pass, chart, call doctors, pass PRN meds as needed, and take care of whatever crises come up does not make for a slower pace, at least in my experience. What LTC does give you is some consistency by having the same residents for extended periods. IMO that is quite a bit easier than having different patients every day like you do in the hospital.

Specializes in Cardiac TCU /tele/SDU. Has 20 years experience.

Yeah you can, i did that myself.

So I am starting this thread hoping to find some success stories of nurses who are a little further along in their career who were able to start in Long Term Care and move into the hospital setting.

As a new graduate I have applied to many hospitals...and even to get an interview is so difficult. As ANYONE who has browsed the job market lately can tell you, their are not alot of job postings listed...and those that are require 1 year of experience. I have to get a I am resigned to the fact that I will have to start in a nursing home.

I know this may sound elitist..but their are those of us new grads who went to nursing school specifically to get into the hospital setting--and tailored their education to that end. In my case, I got the BSN right away. I did a hospital externship and ect--just so i would be prepared for work in that setting. This is why I invested $60,000 and almost five years in college.

People who work in long term care are special people..they are providing quality of life to those who are frail and weak and could not take care of themselves..this is God's work and I believe that. However...i feel for myself that this is a waste of education to get a job that you only need an LPN licence to do..I have no interest in administration or managment...just acute care of adults. I am sorry to say this as I know it will offend some..but I just feel like I should be able to get the career that I paid and worked for...but have heard so much about becoming unhireable in the hospital unless u start there right away from college.

Can anyone offer any advise as to what I could do to become more marketable in the hospital or stories of hope? I am interested in what any recruitors have to say about this as well.

Thanks so much!!!


I know around 2-3 people who could not find a hospital job and ended up taking a nursing home position. They worked there for 3-4 months tops, and ended up getting a hospital job. I too will be starting a LTC facility tomorrow because I could not find a "real" nursing job.

Specializes in Cath Lab & Interventional Radiology. Has 7 years experience.

Hi! I am a December 2011 ADN grad, who had no pervious medical experience. I didn't get much interest from hospitals before I passed the NCLEX, as most hospitals in the area will not hire new grads without their license in hand. I did end up getting a job on a short term rehab unit at a nursing home, and I started 2 days after obtaining my nursing license. The short term rehab setting is a great place to start, because it gives you a chance to develop a routine while enhancing prioritization, time management and delegation skills. Having the same patients day to day for 3-4 weeks at a time was one aspect I really liked and appreciated. I did not think that the nursing home setting was slower paced at all. There is SO MUCH to do!! These included assessments, treatments, wound care, med passes, dr calls, faxes, teaching, etc. I was almost completely burned out after only 2 months in this setting. Not just because of the heavy task/patient load, but because our staffing person would call and harass me to take extra shifts literally every single day. She would not take no for an answer.

So after two months, I applied to both of the major hospitals in my city, and got an interview at BOTH! One interview was on the unit that I did my internship (& was in my comfort zone) and the other was on a cardiac progressive care unit that I had no experience on. I believe that the experience I had in long term care helped me land these interviews and the job as well. I ended up taking the Cardiology/Progressive care job & I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I still have a few weeks left of orientation, and cannot believe how much I have learned each and every day. This is the dream job that I didn't know was my dream until I landed it. I could go on and on, but I will save it! lol Just know that LTC will definitely open doors for you, and probably a lot sooner than you expect! Good Luck!

i agree with you completely. i graduated in january 2012. i have my bsn and rn license. i believe that the healthcare climate has forever changed. experienced nurses are being laid off from hospitals and not finding immediate work. the medical insurance companies are at the top of the food chain and they (controllers of the money/ med. insurance) are kicking patients out of the hospitals early to save money. furthermore, there are too many unemployed americans. people can not afford hospital treatment so they apply band aids and aspirin until they drop.

the nurses of this new generation have to think differently and innovate or fade out. rehabilitation, home healthcare, retail minute clinics, long-term care (sorry) and hospice organizations appear to provide a glimmer of hope for us new rn's. i also want be the nurse that meets the helicopter or ambulance to save the patient or the critical care nurse that stops the patient from going into the light, but my license and degree are getting stale and i need to start now! the times are changing so we may have to park our high horses in the stables were they belong, but i do understand your view. the hardest tea to swallow is reali-ty. hey, i tasted it and it is yucky. good luck on your search.

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