Stable job vs. well rounded experiences...


I am a recent graduate from a BScN program in Canada (not sure what the American equivalent would be...). Where I am in Alberta full time jobs are scarce for RNs, but I was extremely fortunate as a new grad to get a permanent, full time job in long term care. As a grad, I was hoping to get part time work in long term care (my area of interest) and part time in the hospital (to gain skills and be well rounded), however when as a new grad a PERMANENT and FULL TIME position was offered to me, it was impossible to turn down. Even better, it turns out to actually be almost full time days, and the people I work with are fabulous.

So what's the problem then? Since starting, with all my friends getting jobs in the ER or surgical floors, I've started to really wish that I could have the opportunity to work in the hospital as well. I just feel like after working in long term care for a while, it will be really hard to ever enter that environment, because at least now I am semi prepared for hospital work from my time as a student. However, because I am working full time hours doing 8 hour shifts, it would be almost impossible to work 12 hour shifts part time in the hospital on the side.

What do you guys think? Am I being silly, just thinking the grass is greener on the other side, and that I should be thrilled that as a new grad I was offered a full time, permanent, days position? Or is it legitimate to be wishing things had worked out differently so that I could be doing both long term care and hospital work right now... I feel extremely conflicted about it!


59 Posts

I think whatever feelings you have are legitimate. It's your life! Honestly- I think you need to assess your priorities. What is higher on your list- job stability or varied work experience? For me, for example, it would be job stability because I have a young baby and a ton of bills! That's a personal decision.

I personally love long term care (I'm a LTC charge nurse in rural Alberta) so I'm biased. My LTC feels more like sub-acute everyday. I use critical thinking skills like crazy- because I don't have other RNs or doctors to bounce ideas off of as easily. No- it's not the same as acute care settings. But that's not to say it's not challenging and fulfilling in its own way! I don't run codes (very often, lol) but I do know how to titrate a morphine drip and manage delirium. It's just a different set of skills.

Has 33 years experience.

Enjoy your current experience, learn as much as you can from it. The universe has this way of putting us where we need to be.

Namaste, let us know how it's going.


1,381 Posts

It depends on what your future goals are. At this point, you may not know and that's ok. If you wait a year working at the full-time LTC job, you will probably have a better idea of what to do. I do not think, after only a year, you'll have that much trouble getting back to acute care, if you decide LTC is not for you. Of my six close nursing friends in college, only three of us started in acute care. The other three worked in psych or LTC first. Now we all work in acute care-- one in ER, one in OR, one in surgical ICU, and the rest in medsurg.

Try not to get too freaked out about your first job. It will really only limit your future choices if you yourself decide to let it.


95 Posts

Enjoy your current experience, learn as much as you can from it. The universe has this way of putting us where we need to be.

Namaste, let us know how it's going.

I really agree with this.


159 Posts

I have met a lot of nurses who started off in long term care or a skilled nursing facility, and now they work at an acute hospital and they are amazing at what they do. Don't get put off because experience is easy to acquire if you're willing to learn and work for it, and it doesn't take that long.

i worked in m/s and tele for over 7 years and sometimes a part of me regrets staying there for too long because I have learned all that I can, but really every patient is different and everyday is a learning experience because of that. Once you worked in ltc, apply to an acute hospital.