There are many different areas of practice that the registered nurse can investigate in the nursing home. Not only does the registered nurse have the option of practicing in a clinical area of the nursing profession, they can also decide on a career in nursing that entails only administrative duties such as an MDS Coordinator position that is unique to the long term care industry. This position deals with medicare and medicaid reimbursements criteria.
Nursing homes offer the new graduate or any nurse, flexibility that they might not experience if they worked in a hospital setting. The patient acuity level can sometimes be less, but this depends on whether or not the nursing home is a skilled facility or an intermediate facility. Usually at nursing homes, the nurse only dispenses medications and does treatments, because the CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant processes most ADL's for the residents. ADL's activities of daily living, and they consist of bathing, dressing and grooming the resident.
Scheduling of the nursing home registered nurse can be more flexible too. Many nurses choose to work part-time, and according to a recent report, approximately 21 percent of registered nurses worked part-time. Many nursing home facilities, allow the nurse to choose their own hours, providing a great option to working mothers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 percent of registered nurses hold more than one job. Nursing home schedules allow the nurse to work the hours that they want in order to accommodate a second job.
RN jobs in the area of geriatrics are plentiful because the nursing home atmosphere is not usually a popular choice among new graduates, or nurses looking for a change in the work environment. However, registered nurses that choose to work in a long term care facility can sometimes get very lucrative sign on bonuses as a result. These homes are also a great option for the older nurse who wants to return to the nursing field but is hesitant because their clinical skills need refreshing.
Many hospitals offer refresher courses to registered nurses who are reentering the nursing practice after an extended absence. Nursing homes usually do not offer such courses, however, they can provide some valuable hands on experience in an environment that can offer a lower stress level than that of a hospital. The pay scale for registered nurses in the nursing home are very competitive, and sometimes they even exceed that of the hospital. There are also many hospital affiliates long term facilities that offer identical pay and benefits of the hospital they are affiliated with.
It is important to note that the job outlook is very promising for the RN, as the health care industry is thriving. From 2006-2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses are expected to generate approximately 587,000 new jobs, which is one of the largest numbers of all occupations. Registered nurses also comprise the largest occupational group in the health care industry. RN job prospects are excellent, and the nurse can achieve even more flexibility in their careers if they choose employment in a long term care facility.