New Grad - Should I hold out for Acute Care or try LTC/Rehab?


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a new grad and have been searching for jobs for the past few months (not a long time I know). So far none of the big hospitals I have applied to have gotten back to me, but I have reached out to several LTC/Rehab facilities and gotten much speedier responses. I feel like I have a good shot of getting a position at LTC/Rehab, but I don't know if it's the best career move for me, and I'm worried I'm going to accept the position and then hear back from one of my dream positions at the hospital!

My goal is eventually to work in intensive care, will it be difficult to transition to a career in the hospital after working in LTC/Rehab? I know I will gain valuable experience but I don't want to get pigeonholed or miss out on a chance on landing a hospital position right off the bat. What are your thoughts?

Thank you!

Dear Should I Hold out for Acute Care?

If it's been a few months, it is better to start working because working is better than not working when it comes to landing a job.

The only caveat would be if the acute care hospitals in your are offering Transition to Practice programs, if you think you have a chance of landing a spot, and if working in LTC would disqualify you.that would depend on your area.

While you won't be pigeonholed, LTC/Rehab will not be seen as comparable experience when looking at acute care.

There are a lot of variables here, so it's tough. But I would go with the principle of a candidate who is working may be preferred over a candidate who is not working.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth