How did you get into LTC nursing?


I am graduating in May, and considering starting out in LTC nursing. Do you think a graduate nurse should spend time on a Med/Surg floor first, or can gain good experience in the LTC setting too?:twocents: for your thoughts.....


114 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

In LTC, you'll be able to practice your basic skills ALOT! You'll become familiar with lots of different meds, caths, blood sugars/diabetes, g-tubes. But you'll need to remember that it is a very specific population group you'll be working with - geriatrics. You will get the occassional non-elderly patient but 99% of the time, they will be age 65 and over. You will also learn to function pretty much on your own (supervising CNA's) for a large patient load. In my current job, I have a patient load of 25 residents. I have 2 CNA's working w/me - not under me, with me. I couldn't get everything done if it wasn't for them. And in LTC, your aides will make you or break you; so, hope for the best.

If you decide to go this route, please remember that EVERYONE is slow in LTC at the beginning. It takes awhile to get a routine down.


132 Posts

Specializes in Hospice/Palliative Nursing. Has 5 years experience.

Well, after fighting it for the entire time I was in nursing school...I gave in to the fact that I LOVE Geriatrics. I had absolutely no intentions of working in LTC, but couldn't get it out of my head and my heart. EVERYONE said I was crazy and should work med-surg for the first year at least.

I met an awesome admin. of a LTC facility (at our school job fair) and after talking with her, I KNEW that's the route I had to take.

It's only been a week since I started working, but I am loving every minute of it. I'm nervous and unsure of everything I do, S L O W as molassess, but I feel like I'm in the right place. :heartbeat

Specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC. Has 6 years experience.

I started out as a RN in LTC in May of 2008. I can't believe the year mark is creeping up on me! Anyway, I must say for me, there was the "honeymoon" period where I oriented, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. But you do learn more as you go along. For me, more bumps in the road came up and I felt barraded more than guided in the right direction. I learned more of what is TRULY expected as a nurse in terms of documentation especially. Boy if anyone told me during orientation that if someone has butt cream that I should document how their butt looks, that would have been a HUGE help especially during "money month").

I've taken on a bit of extra being night supervisor, but it doesn't entail much. My facility has become more acute as the seasons changed and being only one nurse on a floor with 32 residents can be tough, time management will be key. I'm still learning new things daily from my ADON.

Congrats, and I hope that you don't become as jaded to the LTC environment as I have. Good luck!!!

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