Old nurse learning new tricks

Nurses LPN/LVN


I need some advice, warnings, tips, what have you.

I have been an LPN since 1990. I was 20 when I graduated LPN school. I went right to work on 11-7 shift in a community hospital on a medical floor....was pulling my weight in no time. About 6 months later, I switched to a hospital closer to my home, and worked 11-7 on a post op surgery floor. Rarely had a CNA; never had a Unit Secretary. Always had at least 15 patients....the majority of them fresh postops. Many times I'd have at least two fresh TURPs with irrigations running. At times I'd have as many as 18 pts with just myself on the floor. I did it, though...including all the secretary work. And back then the diet list and all requisitions were done by hand. I ran the entire shift and made good use my time.

Now.....I haven't worked in a hospital since 1996. I've worked since then in doctor offices, schools, a county jail, and a battered women shelter. I also cared for my mom and MIL when they were under hospice care in their homes. I am now 44. On April 7 I will start a new position in a VA hospital. I know hospital nursing has changed a LOT since 1996 and I'm very intimidated. I'm also very excited because I understand this job was hard to win and the pay and benefits are amazing. But I'm worried about learning everything new and time management. Any advice?

Also I know a lot has changed in the TN LPNs scope of practice. When I last worked in a hospital, I was giving IVP drugs, spiking blood bags, and other things all the time. The only RN in the place would be the shift supervisor. and the floors rarely saw her.

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

You will get an orientation -- and because you have experience, you're in a good position to know what you need to learn and ask the right questions. As far as I know, LPNs don't give IV push drugs, hang IV piggy backs or spike blood bags any more, and checking blood requires at least one RN signature. But that could be just my state. The VA is an entity onto it's own! Probably the biggest change will be the electronic charting! Good luck! I'm sure you'll do just fine.

+ Add a Comment