LPN's: What was your first job like?


Hello to my fellow LPN's :)

I'm just curious:

For your first job, where did you work?

What were your hours like?

How long did you work there?

I'll go first: I currently work at an ALF/LTC facility on a lock-down dementia unit. I work 11p-730a, 32 hours a week.. sometimes I will do 40 hours a week, depending. I have been at this facility for 5 years now - I previously worked as a CNA, and have been an LPN for 5 months now.


623 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Documentation Specialist, LTC.

In a nutshell it was a nightmare. I had my license in my hand one day, applied at a nursing home the next and was hired on the spot as a brand spanking new graduate. Because they were so desperate for nurses and so short staffed, I had a half day of orientation and was thrown to the wolves. I worked 7a-3p for a couple of weeks and requested a transfer to night shift and stayed for a year. That nursing home changed hands a few years ago and is no better. New name and some remodeling, but same old staffing issues. They hire on the spot and throw you to the wolves. The turnover rate is ridiculous.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

My first LVN job was at a 66-bed nursing home. I was supposed to have received three days of orientation, but it was cut short, so I only got one 8-hour shift to orient before being cut loose to work on my own.

My average patient load consisted of 28 to 30 residents. I ended up quitting after six weeks because I found a job that was located much closer to my house.


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

Casual LPN in Continuing Care. I guess it would be LTC to Americans. I worked days, evenings, weekends. Whatever I could get to pay off the student loans.

Three shifts for orientation to the facilty and then set loose. It was a good and bad experience. The workload was horrific and never ending. I did learn to prioritize and manage my time.

I left for Acute Care after three years. I'd never go back.

Having said that, I almost think it should be mandatory for new grads. In my hospital we are getting too many new grads (both RN and LPN) who have no time management skills, want weeks and months of orientation and show zero initative. If you don't tell them to make a bed, change the linen, help the swamped nurse down the hall, they just don't.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
The turnover rate is ridiculous.
I recently read that the long-term care industry in the U.S. has an employee turnover rate similar to the fast food industry (read: over 100 percent).

Something must be done about this complex problem. However, I suspect that the individuals and corporations who own and operate many of the shady LTC facilities wish to maintain the status quo as long as it is profitable.


1,007 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

Well, my very first LPN job is one that I don't even count anymore because it was so short! I was hired at a cardiology office two weeks after getting my license. The starting pay was great ($18/hour) and it was Monday-Friday 8-5. I had an uneasy feeling about it and decided that I'd work to get my one year "experience" and leave. Well, the nurse who had been there the longest had just hit her 6-month mark with the company. I was the only LPN, all the rest were RNs and MAs. MAs would room the patient and get vitals, the RNs and me would print off lab results and op notes for the next day's appointments and rotate through phone triage. There was one person who HATED conversation and would sit on the opposite side when a certain MA was working so she wouldn't have to listen to her. She was the one I was supposed to be trained with since our nursing supervisor was moved to interim clinical director when he left, so it was up to her to teach me. I had tons of questions and it bothered her and she complained about me. I had a nasty patient phone call my 2nd day on phone triage where the patient YELLED at me for not getting her doctor out of surgery in the hospital 15 miles away and having him see her. I explained that he couldn't leave in the middle of heart surgery and she could come in to the two office locations and see the doctors in the office or go to the ER and he would be the one on call to see her. She hung up on me and called back to yell again, even after I asked the head doctor of the group, the one who started the practice, and he said the same thing. This went on 6 more times, with her calling, yelling, and hanging up. I asked if someone else would take the call because she refused to listen to me anymore and she asked for anyone else. Not a single other nurse, and there were 3 others sitting with me, took the call. The patient filed a complaint against me with the main office and I was fired a week later. I had been there 5 weeks.

My first real job was pretty good. It was an ENT office and I got the job because they needed someone to start that day. It was Monday-Friday 8:30--5:30 and I liked the work and my coworkers. The previous nurse had been fired and the other two nurses walked out in protest, so they needed people. I was interviewed and the next day brought in for a working interview from 9-4:30. The other nurse I was working with was there for her first day. The PA had to show us where everything was and trained us. The work was great; we got to be in the exam rooms and assist the doc and PA and there were minor surgical procedures done in office. The pay was $14/hour but I was there 2 1/2 years. I left when I got married and moved.