Monitored nurse needs job choice advice, nursing home or drug research?

  1. So, I'm a new nurse with only six months medical-surgical experience (organ transplant) who stupidly self-reported to her state board and is in a monitoring program. Assistance program, my butt! I've been forced to look for a new job as my old one won't accomodate my narcotic restriction. I have a restriction on my license so that I may not pass narcotics, which has made the job hunt difficult. I have found two options and have gotten past the first interview with both companies:

    Work for a drug research company as a lab assistant, with the goal of eventually working my way up and making more money. I know from friends who work there and from the interviewer that this company prefers to advance employees from within, and that nearly 80% of their long term employees have started out as lab assistants. I have some pharmacy school under my belt inaddition to my BSN, so this option appeals to my long range career goals. I would probably want to work here for a very long time. But the pay sucks for now.


    Work for a nursing home. Pay is great, working conditions suck. Long-term prospects are not so good, but it would satisfy the requirements for my monitoring program (but so would the other job) so my restriction can be taken off. I would want to leave this job and go back to bedside nursing in the longer term, but I know I will get burned out on that in a few years anyway.

    Decisions, decisions... money or career? What have been your experiences in getting a good hospital nursing job after having had worked in a nursing home? What is working in a nursing home like? Anyone in research that can tell me more about that industry? I hear nursing homes are hell on earth. Thanks to everyone for your input!
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    About godiva

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 15; Likes: 6


  3. by   JenniferSews
    I can only speak for nursing homes. Sure, some probably are hell on earth. There is a big learning curve to be able to handle that many patients both efficiently and effectively as a nurse. However it can be very rewarding. You know your patients far better than you will in just about any setting, and I mean that in a very positive sense.

    The down side is that if someone else is required to pass all your narcotics this may be a serious issue for your cohorts. LTC is ALL about time management and a lot of the time management comes from knowing your residents very, very well. Having to stop what you are doing when you have 30ish patients and give someone elses patient a med will likely become old fast. I would offer to do something in return, like some complicated wound dressing.

    Good luck, whatever you decide!
  4. by   Chin up
    I say this with your best interest at heart. Do not work LTC. Wait, until your restriction is removed. Long term care can be brutal. Meaning staff and med pass. If you were to lose, drop, miscount one narcotic, it would ugly for you. If someone did not like you, or one of those PIA's that seeks to get everyone in trouble, were to accuse you, even by mistake, you are toast. I would work in the lab, to satisfy the BON. Then and only then, would I have anything to do with passing meds. A patient could accuse you of not giving their meds. These things happen all the time in LTC and unless they know you, they will report at the least suspicion. Good luck, but please be careful! Peace!
  5. by   nurse.sandi
    I worked LTC for 8 years and I agree it was brutal at times. I do not personally want to ever go back, but the way things are I may have to. I have had tender touching moments with many patients and thier family members.
    My biggest concern for you in LTC is that other nurses may resent that they have to pass your narcs...even if you are doing something for them in return.
    You have to decide if you can afford the pay cut by taking the job at the lab.
    There have been many times in my life, and here shortly..that I had to or might have to work where I did not want for the sake of providing. Good luck with your choice whichever you pick.
    Last edit by nurse.sandi on Apr 29, '11 : Reason: reworded
  6. by   canchaser
    You could look into informatics in nursing. Although research is a place I wanted to break into and never could. So now I'm in informatics and love it.
  7. by   SWS RN
    Just a suggestion/you should move this thread to "Nurses in RECOVERY" and that's the thread you need to check out
  8. by   godiva
    Thanks for the replies. It turns out I was not offered a position at the drug research company... bit of an ego kill, but at least I won't have to make a choice. I'm just focused on getting this nursing home job now. I am still scared, so please tell me some encouraging tales from the LTC world!
  9. by   canchaser
    The good news is you dont have to stay there! You can move up the ltc ladder as in care plan manager, education, wound care nurse ect.
  10. by   Chin up
    Quote from canchaser
    The good news is you dont have to stay there! You can move up the ltc ladder as in care plan manager, education, wound care nurse ect.
    Wow, didn't even think of this...OP, here is your good news. You won't have to do patient care, thus pass meds in LTC. There is plenty of room for mangers who never take the cart. No one would have to know. They are always looking for MDS coordinators. Good training, pay and demand all over the country. Good luck. Peace!
  11. by   determined_nurse
    Have you considered trying outpatient nursing? I have worked in nursing homes, hospitals, and more recenlty in a family practice setting. There are so many nursing jobs out there outside of LTC and hospital settings and many of them don't require medication administration. If this whole healthcare reform legislation continues there will be more need for nurses in outpatient settings that also provide loan repayment programs. It would be great as a new nurse to try while you are under the monitoring program. Unfortunately you would not be using a lot of your nursing skills such as assessing, etc. and the pay isn't as good as the hospital. It would be a safe job for a nurse early in recovery who is able to work and provide care and still have that patient contact. Just a suggestion. Good luck!!
  12. by   jlmjohnrn
    I suggest you spoil your NA's to death, help them out where ever you can and they will be your biggest allies.