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Transitioning from ALF to hospital?

I have been an RN for two years, and was an LPN for one. This summer I completed an RN to BSN program. I have worked in ALF/memory care for my entire nursing career. I worked in LTC/rehab for about a year of that contingent my and I am now working with a home care agency in an office setting, and I occasional do visits. I do that along with the ALF job right now. I am very eager to get into the hospital, however I so concerned I have forgotten some of the nursing knowledge I need to succeed in the hospital setting. It's been making me very apprehensive about starting to apply even though I want to so bad! I've loved ALF and working in memory care, but I'm ready to expand and learn more. I plan on taking a ACLS course in a few weeks to add to my resume. Just wanted to see overall what people thought on my situation. Thank you!!

Ruby Vee, BSN

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

Don't be too concerned about the "skills" you've forgotten. They can be taught, and now that you've been a nurse for awhile you already know some of the things that probably flew right past you when you studied those skills in school: comforting the patient, ensuring that the patient is safe during the procedure, aseptic technique and explaining to the patient and family why they need to be the recipient of those skills in the first place. You've already learned the hard part -- actually putting in an IV or a Foley or an NG tube, that's the easy part.

You've learned how to assess a patient with minimal equipment, how to talk to patients and their families, how and when to talk to the physician, professional workplace relationships and how to take criticism. You've learned the common medications that the elderly all seem to be taking and some additional ones that some of us rarely see. And because you know these medications, you now have a framework for learning new medications. You've developed techniques for getting the recalcitrant patient to take their medications and you've learned to deal with disruptive behaviors, how to supervise ancillary personnel, what to write (and what NOT to write) in the patient's record and how to manage your time.

Any floor that hires you is going to have to teach you the basics of their specialty -- and you'll have to study on your off-time for the first year or so. But they'll be getting a nurse that already has a good grasp of so many of the intangibles that new nurses struggle with. You'll be an asset to their team, even as you're learning what you need to learn to function in a new place. Good luck with your job hunt!

Thnk you so much!!!


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