Wondering if I can do this.


Hello everyone. I recently graduated school and begun working at a LTC. Of course I was excited and I knew working here I would be able to gain some skills such as time management, wound care etc. I’m still within my training time. I haven’t taken a full assignment but I’m beginning to wonder if I can do this. It’s a lot! I wasn’t expecting it to be so much. Passing meds takes me the longest but I’m slow at everything. They pay me well for a new grad and I feel blessed to have a job so quickly out of school. I’m already dreading going into work. I guess I’m just venting but if anyone has advice that would be great. Thanks.

Your going to be slow at first, take your time and breath the pt's are not going anywhere. You are learning how to take care of a lot of pt's at one time, your mastering the med cart and tx, phones, assessment skills, ect. It takes time to feel comfortable as a new grad, about 6months - a year to where you feel like OK I got this. I had to write everything down when I started, I took a paper and separated it into 4 sections, accuchecks/linsulin, PRN's, tx, skinchecks/bradens/other assessments. It was my cheat sheet and keep me on task and focused when I first started. Once you learn the routine of residents/pt and develop your own routine things we start to speed up and won't take so long. I would give it some time and try and hone in on your skills, I stayed in ltc rehab for my first 2 years then followed my dream and went to hospice and I love it. If 6months to a year from now you don't think ltc is for you then thats OK also, we all have our own niche areas of nursing we find home. Good luck and go easy on your self the first year is where you will grow and learn the most and you will experience growing pains.

I guess I didn’t expect it to be as difficult and the other nurses here make it look easy. The other day I had maybe 9 patients and it took me all day. I had to skip my break just to make sure I could leave on time.


Specializes in retired LTC.

3 hours ago, Jazzythefuturenurse said:

I guess I didn’t expect it to be as difficult and the other nurses here make it look easy. The other day I had maybe 9 patients and it took me all day. I had to skip my break just to make sure I could leave on time.

Funny thing, I always wondered this too. Even being an experienced dinosaur RN who really liked & practiced LTC for a loooong time, I could never figure it out. Oh, and how they all managed breakfast when they got in. Or they'd be flitting off to the other side of the unit or ANOTHER unit. Or to Activities or the ADON's office to chit-chat. And lunch.

Like what are they doing that I'm NOT doing?!? OR ............ (you fill in the blank here, you're suspecting the same thing ...)

Face it, some of us are just slower than others. We take our time to be cautious & check things out. It's tough when you're new. And I know it sounds cliché, but things DO get better with time.

One thing, just learn to priortorize in the beginning. You can't do everything! Focus on your IMPORTANT things, meds, tx, assessments & charting. Don't slow down to rip apart a LOL's closet looking for her fluffy blue sweater (which her dtr prob took home to launder)! Look later.

One thing, listen to your CNAs & respond in a timely fashion! (Don't wait for a gassy colostomy bag to explode after they told you!)

Archerlpvn, LPN, LVN

Specializes in Home health, Addictions, Detox, Psych and clinics.. Has 9 years experience.

Are you trying to do full head to toe assessments on LTC patients? If so, that could be slowing you down tremendously. Most nurses only assess LTC patients if they’re suspecting a change a condition and then usually only perform a focal/focused assessment.


Specializes in retired LTC.

Archer - you are correct re quick assessments versus the longer, more detailed ones. As an exp nurse transitioning to LTC, it was diff for me to pare down. But you do learn fast!

When I ever-so-briefly pt chit chat, it'd be JUST enough to determine any pt SOB or evidence/complaints of pain. Mentation pretty decent? When I touch, does skin temp & color seem OK? With unfamiliar pts or those 'distressed', it may take a little longer. Sad to say, but 'down & dirty' kind of says it all.

Like you implied, most LTC pts are NOT acutely ill, they remain 'status quo'. So precious 'time management' is improved. Yeah! ⏱️

Lynker, LPN

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 2 years experience.

You'll get used to it. My advice to you is take your time. I made my first med error while I was training because I was rushing. It gets easier. Also see if you can work different shifts. I personally love 11-7 at my LTC!

Best wishes ❤️


Specializes in retired LTC.

LTC NOC my #1 fav shift!

moomin, LPN

Specializes in LVN. Has 2 years experience.

I feel the same way. I am a new LPN at LTC too and I feel so overwhelmed and discouraged most days. I find taking notes to be helpful so I can look back to them when something happens. I take forever too when passing meds. I'm going to try and stick it out for 6 months to a year and hopefully by then I can find my niche in nursing. I already feel burnt out by LTC because the amount of work assigned to one nurse is unrealistic and unsafe in my opinion. I didn't expect it to be so much either.