New Grad RN starting in LTC facility, but dreading it. Help!


Hello! I am a recent grad RN with my ASN (Dec. 2011), starting prereqs in the fall towards my BSN. I have been applying for jobs in all the major hospitals since October with no luck, and was hoping that after being licensed things would change. Still hearing nothing from the hospitals, so I have been applying to LTC facilities. I was offered a position part time on night shift, which I accepted thinking I could certainly use the money and I don't want to be out of nursing practice for too long. However now that my start date is coming up I am dreading it! I was told originally that I would have 6 weeks of full time orientation, a week of days, a week of evenings, and 4 weeks on my shift, nights. But after my physical/drug screen were cleared I spoke to the manager who now says my first day is a new hire orientation, the following 2 days I will work day shift, and then I will be given a schedule based on what I accepted, which was nights w/ rotating weekends, and that my orientation period would be 4, MAYBE 5 weeks. I am a new grad, and very scared of being tossed into a situation with many patients and staff who report to me! I know I need to keep the job b/c I need RN experience, but I am worried I will not get the support I need as a recent grad like I would in a hospital setting. Plus, I didn't expect to land the job of my dreams in women's health, but I never expected to work in a "nursing home". I have spoken to several classmates who have all said they are struggling as well and are going the nursing home route, only the few grads who were already employed by the hospitals are getting RN positions. My rate of pay is much higher than what others are offering, but is it worth it? I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I am freaking out a little! Any advice would be much appreciated!! :)


3 Posts

I was in a similar situation as you are when I graduated with my BSN in 2009. New grad jobs were scarce being that it was winter and most hospital jobs required new grads to do new grad programs. So I took a job at a LTC facility because that was all I could find. I think I got maybe 1 week orientation before being by myself, which was kind of scary. But generally speaking, you aren't going to be in situations where you won't really know what to do. At the place I worked at there were 3 other nurses as well, so you could always go get one of the more experienced nurses to help if there really is a situation you can't handle. Most of the time I passed meds. I'd say at least 6 our of 8 hours was spent passing meds. This was good because I was able to learn lots and lots of different medications, as most of the people in the facility were on 10-15 meds easily. This job was also good because I really learned how to manage my time and also delegation. Luckily I only had to do LTC for about 4 months before getting into a new grad program at one of the hospitals. The main thing I disliked about LTC was the poor staffing. You might have 2 CNAs for 30 residents that are more or less dependent, at least for toileting/bathing. Just try to stay positive, learn as much as you can while you are there, and keep looking for jobs in acute care. Seeing as it is almost the end of the school year most hospitals will start posting their new grad residencies soon.