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Is post-acute OK for first job?

Nurse Beth   (430 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,
Hi! I was hoping to get your thoughts on the first job out of nursing school. I passed NCLEX a couple weeks ago, and have been applying to major hospitals. I met a girl recently who said a particular post-acute facility where she worked wasn't bad. I looked them up, they called for an interview the next day. Long story short, does this hurt my chances of getting into acute care later? I REALLY REALLY intend to do hospital nursing, and don't want to waste time, but could use the job. 

Dear First Job,

Congrats on passing the NCLEX!

Your best option is to land a residency position while you are still a newly licensed nurse. You still have time as you are just few weeks out.

Post-acute care is your second best option as many of the skills are transferable. Working in post-acute will not necessarily hurt your chances of getting into acute care later, depending on your local market.

What you will miss are the benefits of starting out in a residency program.  A residency program supports you from six months to one year, allowing you to build a good foundation.

The first job you are offered is not necessarily the best job for you. Ask how long your orientation will be, and how many patients you'll be responsible for. Ask your friend about the turnover rate, as a high turnover can be an indicator of sub-optimal working conditions.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!


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I am in a similar situation I just started working at a skilled nursing facility and I am having trouble finding a nurse residency position the good thing about the facility I work at though is my orientation is as long as I want it to be.

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