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Is it really "easier" transitioning from LTC to working in a hospital?

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by momma0f3 momma0f3 (New) New

I currently work in a nursing home with 25-35 patients day/evening shift. I've only been a nurse for 3 and 1/2 years and my first job as a new grad was in LTC. Now I hear every now and then that if you have nursing home experience, working in a hospital won't be as bad since you have less patients. I am thinking about applying for a hospital job in the near future.

Would love to hear input from those who started out working in nursing homes and are now working in a hospital. Thanks!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I worked in LTC for six years before ending up working at a specialty post-acute hospital. Coming from LTC, time management was a strong attribute that I brought into my new role at the specialty hospital.

However, I needed to catch up on certain procedural skills, such as hanging blood, starting peripheral IVs, administering peritoneal dialysis treatments, and so forth. Overall, the transition was manageable and I still work at the specialty hospital.

I'm also curious did your hourly rate stay the same when you transferred to the hospital? Good to know that your experience from LTC is a good one.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I'm also curious did your hourly rate stay the same when you transferred to the hospital?
This wasn't an intra-company transfer or anything like that. I was working at an independently owned "mom & pops" nursing home as an LVN at the time. Once I earned my RN license, I got the job at the specialty hospital which is owned by a for-profit corporation.

Yes, my pay rate did increase by $9 hourly, but this was mostly due to the transition from LVN to RN.

Oh okay. Thanks so much for your input! :)

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

Having fewer patients doesn't necessarily mean an easier workload.

At a facility I worked at there was a LTC unit and a subacute unit. I started out on the LTC unit with 30-something patients on 3-11. Eventually, I was asked to move to the subacute unit where the patient load was more like 9-to-13.

Naturally, I assumed that would be cake after having so many patients on the LTC side. But my patients were much, much sicker on the subacute floor. IVs, TPN, wound-vac, vitals on everyone every shift, more new orders. And the treatments, dear God, the treatments. So many time consuming dressing changes. And rehab patients receive far more meddlesome visitors than long term residents. My ten subacute patients had me staying over more often than my 30 LTC residents ever did.

With all that said, I do think that your LTC experience will make the transition easier, as opposed to a new grad or a nurse coming from a clinic setting. You'll just have to adjust some of your ways of thinking and prioritizing. You won't be chained to the med cart as much, but you'll have to learn to work around more frequent and more time consuming interruptions.

Brandon OMG yes the treatments are the worst because it takes up so much time on top of medpass. Lately the facility I work now hired a wound nurse who comes everyday so it has been a huge help.

I have been thinking a lot about what the transition might be like and good to know that it shouldn't be too bad.

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it.