Where have all the nurses gone?

Specialties Geriatric


Have been in nursing for 30 years. Our particular region of the USA has a terrible shortage of nurses especially in Long Term Care. How can we recruit nurses to our area and help them realize that long term care is a very challenging and vitally important to a growing population??? Need Help !!!!


6 Posts

If you have a nursing school nearby you may want to see what they are saying about long term care. I graduated last year and I know I had a few instructors that were very negative about long term care. They would advise us to stay away from it because we would get no experience. I only took a job in long term care as a temporary thing because of what they said. But now I love it. I have done a little of everything-IV's, trachs, CAPD, etc. I am probably getting more experience than I would have in a hospital. Well good luck recruiting.


2 Posts

Advertising is good. Our facility just opened a new alzheimer's wing & advertised on tv. My DON said that she has a stack of applications now.Make your place fun to work at, the job secure (people don't really want to change jobs) Our place hires "friends of friemds", family, etc; they all get along together.

Cindy Johnston

20 Posts

Laura's suggestion about addressing nursing programs is a good choice...the first job I applied for as I finished school this May was from a facility that was recruiting from our nursing program...I ultimately did not take it because it would have meant relocating but there recruiting effort worked for me at least. I also concur with what Laura said about the hype from the professors...they may spread bias...what part of the country is now experiencing shortages? I am in Western NY and there is a large glut of nurses...so much so that nursing school enrollment has significantly dropped in the last couple years...people have heard there are no jobs so they don't want to get into nursing , also the wages in this area are not that great...


1 Post

Dear pietem

My experience with LTC has been a rewarding one thus far however I remember it being looked down upon in nsg school. I went to LVN school in TX where we had many more career options. Here in the northeast (where I am anyway) it's one of the few venues for LPN's and still looked down on by a great many I'm afraid. Since LTC is the wave of the future (what with all the boomers getting older) perhaps nsg programs could spend a bit more time accentuating the positives of LTC nsg and let go of the old standby biases. It's true we "lose" some skills but like any other nsg specialty we become expert in our particular field.


Guest Netty

0 Posts

I am entering in my final year in a BSN program. I have also working in a LTC for 5 years as a nursing assistant and have no plans to continue working there once I graduate. This is not do to negative comments by my teachers. This is do to low wages and poor benefits. I know that not many LTC facilites in the area I am from take care of their employee's. I do not know how it is in other states but it would be interesting to know. I love working in LTC but I have to look out for myself first.

I have been in long term care since 1971 when I placed my mother in a facilty. I was hired as ADON. I have worked as DON, TX Nurse, Med Nurse, Education. I think we get a bad name through the news media. I teach nursing asst for Red Cross I tell my class its hard work but rewarding. The love

you share with LTC is different. These people depend on us workers for everything. No greater gift in life is Love. I am semi retired and hope I can continue to visit LTC.

Lot of the people dont have families and we are there families. The pay now is just as

good as many other places. Say yes to work in LTC.

I would just like to add, having worked in LTC since graduation in 96' that although the staff to patient ratio is low...there seems to be less stress, compared to my clinicals in the various specialty areas. If you don't agree, fine, but I work NOCs, where it is even quieter and less stressed yet. Yes, some of your technical skills may get rusty, your leadership and intuition can be enhanced. Many specialty nurses complain of insufficient time to spend with the patients in developing the therapeutic relationship; this also can be enhanced in a less emergent area such as LTC. Thus there are pros and cons to each area of nursing.


931 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Med-Surg..

I have just left a job at a LTC facility due to a few reasons: orientation that was only 3 days on only one shift, one floor, patient load that was going from 40 to 60 on all shifts, and only having casual hours in which I was called in about 30 minutes before my shift. I have two small children so this just didn't work for me. I needed at least a part time schedule. I am planning to do my RN and after this experience I will not work LTC unless I have to.

Specializes in nursing home care.

Get out there and spread the word, encourage staff to write about LTC care for journals, magazines etc. I was 'known' in my 1st job as I was the only graduate nurse who wanted to work in LTC. I love it but I think some medical work is more glorified and hence the attract more students. We get so much bad press but at least in the UK that is changing as hospitals are awful at caring for our residents. if we blow our trumpets loud enough, someone will hear us! Meantime, blow that trumpet to every student nurse in your home!

OC_An Khe

1,018 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED.

Yes you do need to blow your own horn so to speak. However, nothing will change if those areas that have poor working conditions don't make the necessary improvements.


1,249 Posts

In my area at least, LTC seems to be 'going corporate', and many of the places have become known for understaffing and cutting corners - and word gets around. Staff members talk amongst themselves. When I decided I couldn't take it anymore where I was working, and answered an ad for the LTC where I just started, the CNAs at the old place filled me in on which places to avoid like crazy. The place where I just started seems to still have a good rep.

This place staffs well, seems to have a good supply of SUPPLIES, which is a thing that drove me nuts about the other place - they would run out of gloves, alcohol wipes, etc., and 'Corporate' would only let the Don order once a month.

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