Nursing Home Experience "not real experience"

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chrystal-RN Chrystal-RN 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Debguida

    Looking for some advice. I have had my RN license since 2010. Anyway at the time I graduated all the local hospitals had cut way back on hiring new grads. Also I live in an area where there really isn’t a nursing shortage. Lots of nursing schools around. So needless to say I had some difficulty in obtaining a position. The only position I could find was in a LTC facility. I have since left and currently work in home health. I have applied at the local hospitals but if I do get an interview I am being told that my LTC experience really doesn’t count as real experience and that I am basically on the same footing as a new grad. I don’t understand especially considering the acuity often encounter in the LTC environment. A place where you don’t have sophisticated equipment to monitor your patients but on your assessment skills. You are responsible for multiple patients 20 or 30 sometimes more. Having to pass meds, do treatments, make sure your charting is done, and pray nothing goes wrong. Plus many of the facilities are in the process of going strictly rehab so you have medicare to deal with. If there are any nurse managers out there who could weigh in on this I would be highly appreciative.

    Profile photo of BlackMaleRN

    Nursing home -SNF experience is essential in matters involving time management and prioritization, but clinically, you do not get to use most of the skills that hospital nurses utilize so from that perspective, hospitals are hesitant to hire LTC nurses. Good luck though 🙂

    Profile photo of Chelsea B RN
    Chelsea B RN

    That’s really unfair. I found the same difficulties when I graduated from ns school in dec 2011, i found a ECF job and worked there for a year, since then I have found a job @ the local hospital, that being said, it wasn’t easy. I work on a medical unit in the hospital , and while many things are different, there are so many experiences and knowledge that I use constantly that I learned from the ns home, it’s really not fair to say that we are “inexperienced nurses” without hosp experience,. Because honestly, we are just underpaid nurses. There is so much more that is expected from a nursing home nurse that would never be in a hospital RN’s scope of practice, such as, neb treatments (RT in the hosp), or being concerned about a pt and wanting second set of eyes, or even a charge nurse?! None of those things are available to a nursing home nurse, so you must learn to make critical decisions on your own. Without a doubt, a nursing home/ecf nurse is a much better hiring candidate than a new grad. PERIOD.

    Profile photo of ALordRN

    It’s not that your experience isn’t ‘real’ experience, they seem to be downplaying the experience you do have and that can be so frustrating. But it is a legitimate concern. I too had to work LTC straight out of school, for reasons very similar to yours, and I just needed a job. But I hated the LTC facility I worked at and quickly determined it wasn’t the safest work atmosphere. My weekend supervisor got me on at a local hospital and I was quickly overwhelmed (after only six months of LTC, not years like you). TPN’s? I knew what they were used for but I didn’t know how to hang them, when, what tubing to use and that you needed to check BG’s while someone was on them and that you can’t just start someone at a goal rate you have to gradually increase the rate and gradually decrease the rate when taking someone off. I didn’t know how to empty a JP drain. I wasn’t skilled at IV’s. I had no idea how to handle a great many things. BUT I am a very quick learner, and with a chance you could be too. I hope you get that chance soon! I work at a teaching hospital and I have learned an unimaginable amount of things the last two and a half years here. The hospital setting and LTC setting are just completely different. Good luck getting that job you want, don’t give up!! 🙂 🙂

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