Ortho or SNF?


Hello all,

I am looking for some advice. I just graduated from nursing school and I got 2 job offers: one is in a SNF which is part of a hospital and the other job offer is in a ortho unit. My goal as a Nurse is to work in the Operating Room. I know most people will probably tell me to go for the acute care job but I heard that ortho is very hard work. I am really undecided on which one to choose. Thank you so much.

Specializes in LTC, Acute care. Has 6 years experience.

Personally, I'd go with Ortho but I'm a little biased because I do some ortho at work. Both are difficult but if you go with SNF, they have a very high patient to nurse ratio. What makes ortho where I work easier is that patients are ambulated by physical therapists and adl by occupational therapists, at least the first days after surgery. Also, since you'd like to work in the OR, I think it would be wise to stick with acute care.

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I'd take the Ortho job. When the patient is first out of surgery,

the first ones to get them up and moving around are generally

the PT's. After that... you'll do a lot of giving pain meds, a LOT,

then you will do a lot of vital signs, helping with ambulation to

the bathroom, chair... helping with bathing... all in all I like

ortho patients a lot.


62 Posts

As PPs have said, I would probably go for the ortho job. I've worked in both - both come with their own unique challenges. Ortho floors are generally pretty busy, as your patient will be doing therapy during the day and you will be giving meds all day and night. SNFs are also busy, as you are giving meds ALL the time. The nice thing about orthos is that the plan of care is pretty similar for most patients, whereas you will probably see more variety in the SNF. You will learn the routine on an ortho floor and learn to do your job well. If your goal is the OR, ortho is definitely a better stepping stone than any SNF.


88 Posts

Has <1 years experience.

If you want OR Otho is the way to go

Specializes in Education, Administration, Magnet. Has 18 years experience.

Ortho for sure.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

Definitely ortho, even though the work is hard and you have to deal with a host of medical issues (obesity, DM, dementia etc.) which can be very frustrating. The problem with SNF---even though it is great experience---is you might get stuck there and be unable to move when you're ready. Stay in acute care, get your experience, and then go for what you really want.