I will be finishing LPN school in 1 week and always wanted to do psych but have recently stumbled across MDS nursing. I am researching everything and have seen a few job listings in my area so i was wondering if you all that are already MDS nurses have any suggestions for work experience etc to get me to this path. My plan is to apply for MDS positions, day shift, and work PRN night shift to gain some working LPN experience, maybe in a SNF or LTC facility. Although i have some background as a CNA in psych, my ultimate goal is to continue my education to get up to a MSN in informatics as i love nursing and love computers so that is where i ultimately want to be.
I have researched MDS certification, and there is a 3/4 day class in my area in October that i was thinking of taking but have read various recommendations that you get hands-on-experience first, so i guess if i'm lucky enough to get hired straight out of school as a MDS coordinator i can take the class later.
i guess i'm afraid to just work MDS as a new grad and never actually have any bedside experience. I don't mind bedside, it's just that i have lots of computer experience, love the documentation side of nursing and feel that MDS or any kind of "computer" nursing would be a great fit for me. Please let me know any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations you all have. thanks in advance.
Jul 3, '17
You are not qualified to be an MDS nurse at this point in your career. You need hands on experience beyond school.
Jul 4, '17
thank you but do you have a suggestion for types of experience?
Jul 4, '17
A DON at one of the facilities where I once worked took one of the floor nurses and sent her through MDS training to move into the position of MDS nurse for the facility. You might want to consider taking a job in a facility with the thought in mind of preparing for the position. If it does not open up at that facility, at least you will have nursing experience to talk about when you interview for a position elsewhere.
Jul 4, '17
LTC or TCU experience are the place to start.
An LPN has limitations in what they can do in some of the MDS processes- i.e. signing off on certain sections (not always a big deal as that can be addressed on the front end).
The biggie would be your practicing state's scope of practice for an LPN- some state an LPN can assess/sign independently as needed in the CAA section but some states do not allow this and must be co-signed by an RN.
I am not saying an LPN cannot do an MDS but the regulations and state practice acts limit some things.
I would counsel a new RN (unless experienced as an LPN) also to not go into MDS right off the bat.
You need hands on practice in the real world to make the transition.
I will be real candid. I have concerns for new graduates who think MDS is a first stepping stone for them into nursing.
I have the same concerns for any employer that would take a novice new graduate into the position.
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