Nursing Home to Surgica FLoor

  1. Hi, I'm an Assistant Director of Nurses in a small town in Missouri; I have been a Rn for 2 years and an LPN for 3 years before that. I feel like I have learned alot but most of my practice has been in long term care. That is until recently. I got a job friday at a local hospital working on the surgical floor. I am looking forward to it because of all the new and exciting thing I will learn. Any suggestions on making the transformation any easier? I am going to work both jobs until I decide If I want to work in the hospital.
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    About ShadyRn

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 1


  3. by   mkaren73
    The most important advice I can give you is to BE ORGANIZED and DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!! I had much LTC experience as well and the transition to a med/surg floor was challenging at times. Good Luck!!
    You may email me at
  4. by   allevi
    I am going through the same transition. I have put in my resignation in long term care, I have only been an rn since march, but need to get hospital experience. or i never will.

    Hope things have gone well for you
  5. by   mustangsally
    I made the same transition over a year ago after working as a Nurse Manager at a LTC faciliity which I had worked at during breaks from college. While I still love geriatrics the mundane mind numbing stacks of paperwork was frustrating, I wanted to work at the bedside more. While it took me awhile to feel in the swing of things I am soooo glad I made the switch. While I would never give up the time I worked in LTC I learned a lot there especially was able to work with patients I wouldn't work with usually in a hospital where floors are more specialized. I just took things one day at a time. The hardest thing for me was getting used to the fact that I wasn't expected to walk on the floor and know everything there was to know about med-surg nursing. It was hard at first to relearn different procedures, but I found that the insight I had learned in the nursing home was helpful in helping identify if the patients may need assistance once at home.
  6. by   deespoohbear
    Good for you!! I work on a Med/Surg floor but did some LTC before that (about 6 months). I was able to make the transition rather easily, but boy there is a lot to learn. Don't get intimidated. I would observe the nurses on the floor and get a feel of how the do things. Look for who seems to be the most organized and knows her/his job. Ask for tips from those nurses who have made an impression on you. I learned several things just by observing and asking questions. I suppose you will have some kind of orientation before you are expected to be on your own. If you don't subscribe to a nursing magazine, I would suggest getting a subscription or see if the surgical floor has one. They are quite informative. Plus check online for ideas to keep you going. You will get the hang of it. Just stick with it. If you have any questions, you can email me @ . Best of luck.
  7. by   neuroRN
    I had LTC experience as an LPN before I graduated with my RN and went to work on a busy Neuro unit. I found that many skills I attained from LTC were beneficial, but there are some tough times too. Just give it a chance and you will be able to tell where your "nitch" is!
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    Yepper! I just went from LTC back to Med-surg too; it's an adjustment fer sure....just make sure before you do, do the 5 rights and don't let anyone rush you.
  9. by   BBFRN
    I went from LTC to Med/Surg, too. I've been doing it for 5 years now, and will never go back. Hopefully, you'll have a preceptor to show you the ropes for the first few weeks- it was of great help to me. One of the biggest challenges for me was learning to be way more flexible with my time, because you have a lot more interruptions such as more Dr. visits, post-op tests, admits, discharges, etc. But the reward of actually helping people get better and go home outweighs any of the setbacks. Good luck to you!
  10. by   debRNo1
    DITTO you guys

    I was in LTC for ten yrs as LPN then 2 yrs as RN "manager".
    Always loved it but I felt like I was missing something and needed that acute care experience as an RN !!?? Figured it was now or never- I resigned and got a job on a med-surg floor.

    Well Im 3 weeks into it now and NOT looking back. I like it already but theres just so much to learn and know that I was feeling a little overwhelmed last week. The intimidation factor was present and I had a nurse orienting me who tried her best to belittle me and didnt teach me a whole lot either. Kept throwing in the word "nursing home" and kinda giggling at my questions (i wont be with her again)

    Its rough being new anywhere and Ive always been a firm believer in *no such thing as a stupid question* I ask and ask sometimes Ill ask the same question to a few nurses. I let them know to call me for things I NEED to see-blood/TPN/whatever

    I feel like a student all over again Im looking up all kinds of stuff and began collecting P+P to read. I will still get my fair share of geriatric pts and will still be able to enjoy them like I always did.

    Im very happy with my decision and dont think Ill go back to LTC anytime soon.

  11. by   rinker
    I too have made the transition from LTC to Med Surg. I am a new LPN and only worked in LTC for 3 months as an LPN (3 yrs CNA). I had horrible experience in LTC as an LPN and was scared to death of moving to Med Surg. I am glad that I did this though. I had a preceptor that was ok. It is the charge nurse that is unpredictable. She does not like you to ask questions and never misses a chance to belittle you and make one question abilities. Idon't regret the move and agree there is alot to learn, or rather re-learn
  12. by   debRNo1
    Originally posted by rinker
    Idon't regret the move and agree there is alot to learn, or rather re-learn
    Rinker hang in there and youll be fine

    Update on my orientation. Its over Ive been thrown to the wolves. I have been on "my" unit now for the last few weeks, it is more med than surg which is fine with me. This wk we were short a nurse and they asked would I be OK with a district (Ive been doing a whole assignment anyway [8 pts]) I said sure- its the day shift and there are plenty of nurses to answer any questions I may have.

    I get report and my first pt is to rec a unit of pkd cells
    wonderful - we move along and I have 2 with critical K levels so Im going to give KCL riders too I replaced 2 IV's and I think it was a very productful day. All went well and I think it gave me the boost of confidence that I needed.

    Im starting to feel alot more comfortable on the unit and know where to find things now. Of course I will continue to have questions and you can learn everthing in a few short weeks.

    I still have no regrets about making the move from LTC and I feel like this is where I belong right now. The only adjustment is the 12 hr shift which is rough but the 4 days a week off makes up for that :zzzzz

    lots of luck

  13. by   momangel29
    I am a new R.N. since February and I am working on a med-surg unit in the hospital after working as an LPN in LTC for four years prior.I find it very challenging but I am making a go of it.I was not unhappy in my work before but i wanted to make a change.I felt that if I didn't try the hospital,I would never know if I could handle it or not.So I try every day and maybe one day I will be a really good nurse.GOOD LUCK.
  14. by   bklynborn
    I just finished my third day of orientation on the medical floor of our hospital after 6 years as an nurse in LTC...............I LOVE the hospital!!!! Did my first IV start yesterday and was successful on the first try!!!(talk about a confidence booster!!!!) I too love geriatrics which is why I wanted the medical floor but I also wanted that acute care experience that you only get at the hospital...............