Long Term Care Nurse Career Profile

Becoming a long-term care nurse can provide you with a way to make a difference in the lives of the elderly and those who are incapacitated. You can get involved in a field that is growing rapidly. Here are the basics of being a long-term care nurse and what you should expect from the position.

Becoming a Long-Term Care Nurse

In order to become a long-term care nurse, you will have to go through a standard educational process. You will need to start by obtaining your high school diploma. Then you can move on to a nursing program. You will need to become a registered nurse in order to work as a long-term care nurse. You can become a registered nurse by attending a two-year associates program at a community college. You could also choose to obtain a four-year degree in nursing from a college or university. Either route will get you there, but the four-year program is preferred.

Once you have graduated from school, you will need to obtain your license to be a registered nurse. You will need to take an exam known as the NCLEX-RN. This is administered at the state level, and once you pass, you will be eligible for a job as a long-term care nurse.

Basic Tasks

As a long-term care nurse, you will be working with those who are unable to take care of themselves. This often means the elderly or those who are recovering from an accident. You will have to monitor their status and determine if they are in need of any assistance. You may have to administer an IV and provide them with medication. You may also have to help move them from place to place as needed. You will need to be able to communicate with your patients in order to determine if they are experiencing any pain. You will then need to relay information to their doctor in order to determine if further treatment is needed. Many times, you will have to be able to interact with the patient's family in order to convey important information to them as well.

Work Schedule

Long-term care nurses work a variety of schedules. In most cases, you will be able to work 40 hours per week. However, you might be required to pick up additional hours. You may be required to work evenings and weekends depending on the needs and demands of your patients. You could work in a nursing home or in a patient's private residence.

Salary

The median salary for a long-term care nurse is approximately $58,000 per year as of early 2010. Many times, you will be able to get a higher salary by being recruited by other health care providers.

Opportunities for Advancement

As a long-term care nurse, you will have some opportunities for advancement. You might be able to work your way into a management role within the institution that you work for.

Finding a Job

If you are currently looking for a job as a long-term care nurse, you should check out www.hospitaljobsonline.com. They have some great information for job seekers and current job listings.