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RN starting in LTC


Hi Everyone!

I have accepted my first RN job yesterday! A surprise too, I found myself rambling at times when the interviewer asked "tell me about a time when...." questions, and I wore a bow tie with my suit--the next day several people told me that was a pretty stupid idea. I am having a real hard time believing my luck, I was prepared to run my Job Search for at least a year.

Also, I heard it is uncommon for new grad RNs to land straight days as their first job--is that true?

I am an associates degree RN. I think I can learn much from working in LTC while I pursue my BSN, but I have heard horror stories about nurses getting "stuck" in LTC. I think an article on this forum (I don't remember the title, but it listed 7 or so things to know about LTC nursing) said that other medical professionals don't value LTC RNs' experience which reinforces this idea.

If that is true, is there a way to present LTC nursing in a positive light--I may want to work in a hospital some day.

Other than that, I am excited to start my career. I want to extend a thanks to everyone who has supported me.

Congrats to you! Get as much experience as you can. I too am a semi new grad and my first job is LTC. Don't really care for it, but we all have to start somewhere. I love my residents and try best by them, but not the politics amongst other things (short staff, lack of supplies, etc..). Some people really enjoy LTC, but I know it's not for me, therefore I will move on at some point.

Thanks, bud!

Yeah, LTC isn't what I had envisioned when I started nursing school, but as an AD nurse the reality is that hospitals will not look at my resume if I don't have experience. My current RN supervisor (I am employed as a medical assistant at the moment) has told me that she learned a lot working in a nursing home which lends me some hope that will be a good experience for me.

Thank you for your input, and congratz on being a semi-new grad!

SquishyRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma, Med-Surg/Tele, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

Look through these forums, particularly "Success Stories in Nursing," and you'll find plenty of people who transitioned into acute care despite starting in LTC. I know plenty of people personally who did so as well. It just takes patience and perseverance. But I agree that there exists a stigma among other nurses and healthcare professionals towards LTC nurses. Whether their biases are unfounded or not, the reality is that a stigma exists, and that is something that you must expect to deal with if you want to end up in acute care. But, you're definitely already aware of that since you're asking how to present your LTC experience in a more positive light. Kudos to you for keeping a positive attitude and thinking ahead!

Anyway, to answer your question, market the skills you acquire in LTC that are applicable to the acute setting as well. You will certainly have plenty of experience dealing with difficult families, supervising/managing staff, prioritizing your care, dealing with doctors, and time management. For the "skills" that many new grads seem to think define us as nurses, when I worked in LTC as an LVN I frequently did foleys, in and out caths, and wound care. Occasionally I'd start peripheral IVs since I was IV certified. All these skills are marketable when applying to acute positions.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

I am doing LTC right now, too, while applying for acute care positions as much as possible. I was REALLY hesitant, but a nurse I know and respect suggested doing it to keep up my skills while I look. That is my main reason for doing it. I have two other very PRN jobs, but the work is very narrowly focused (health fairs/flu clinics through one and home infusions for the other), so LTC gives me wound care, Foleys, med pass, supervising CNAs, more time management, charting, etc. I definitely did NOT envision LTC when I got into nursing, and I still don't want to do it any longer than necessary, but nursing experience is better than retail experience (and nursing pay is better than retail pay).

So while I am working at the SNF, I am also applying for acute care positions. The way I look at it, I now have the luxury of only applying for hospital jobs I want (as opposed to littering the web with my resume the way I was). I'm keeping up some of my skills, I'm paying my student loans, and I'm even able to start contributing toward savings and retirement again. It's not all bad. :)


Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

HUGE congratulations my friend. LTC is a very noble position and I think you'll really enjoy making a huge difference in those residents' lives. Believe me, you will become attached to them. Best of luck to you!

I may have to "dust off" my bow tie when I go for my first interview as well. :)

Everyone on here says the key to getting a job is to make yourself stand out. I think a bow tie is a way to do that! :-)


LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

LTC is a specialty in itself; you will learn many transferable nursing skills in LTC: focused assessments, pt education, family education; wound care assessment; time management, medication assessment, documentation, care planing, etc; a wealth of skills that go far in any nursing specialty.

I am about to start a job in a rehab hospital a part of a major health network; so it is a foot in the door. :yes:

It is possible to move from LTC; it takes gaining experience along the way.

Get your feet wet, and go from there; you may just like it!