Congratulations, new grads, and welcome to the Nursing profession. About 20 years ago, I walked in your shoes and could not wait to take on my role as a nurse and earn some income. I don’t know about you, but I was “broke” after nursing school. Let’s face it, the rigor of most nursing programs makes it almost impossible to work and school at the same. For those of us who entered school as adults and had children, it was an even more challenging commitment, and yes, we needed to start working immediately!
In my quest and urgency to make some income, I went to work for a Skilled Nursing Facility close to home that offered a decent wage. My excitement lasted for a week or two on the job then I started to second guess if nursing was an actual career path for me. I dragged myself daily to work and survived 12 months on the job. This trend continued at several other workplaces, so I was convinced it was my fault. I finally landed a job that felt right; I did not only thrive but flourished there and stayed on for six years! Interestingly that was not my highest-paid job.
So, what makes a job, or a workplace feel right? From my experiences, the right jobs aligned with my values and career goals and had a supportive and nurturing environment for growth. To find such a facility to work at, you should first evaluate your career goals and list them in order of priority. Also, list 5 top things that are most important to you in a job.
These are my suggestions to guide you in finding an excellent facility to work in.
- Evaluate the facility’s Mission and Vision: Ensure these align with your career goal(s).
- Evaluate the facility’s culture, values, and work environment: Consider factors such as teamwork, communication, respect, and support. A positive work culture can significantly impact job satisfaction.
- Research the facility’s reputation: Check what is being reported about the facility’s patient care, staff satisfaction, and overall quality. I suggest you visit https://consumerhealthratings.com/?healthcare_entry=nursing-home-compare-all-states-www-medicare-gov
- Examine career advancement opportunities: Look for facilities that prioritize professional development and offer opportunities for career growth, such as continuing education programs, training, mentorship, and organizational advancement.
- Consider the facility’s specialization: Determine if it specializes in a particular area of long-term care that aligns with your interests or expertise or if they work with a resident population that you may be interested in working with, e.g., Psychiatric, Dementia, etc. Specialization can offer unique growth opportunities and a more focused work environment.
- Assess staffing levels: Ensure the facility maintains appropriate staffing levels for quality care. Adequate nurse-to-resident ratios ensure your workload is manageable and you can provide optimal care. Be realistic about the national staffing trends when considering this factor.
- Review employee benefits and compensation: Compare the benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, vacation time, and any additional perks the facility offers. Fair compensation and comprehensive benefits contribute to overall job satisfaction.
- Ask about the facility’s safety measures: Ensure the facility prioritizes resident and staff safety. Evaluate infection control, emergency preparedness, and workplace safety protocols. A safe environment is essential for a fulfilling career.
- Consider work-life balance: Explore the facility’s policies regarding work schedules, flexibility, and employee well-being. A supportive work-life balance allows you to maintain a healthy personal life while excelling in your nursing career.
- Trust your instincts: Listen to your intuition during interviews or facility visits. Trust your gut about the facility’s compatibility with your professional goals, values, and overall satisfaction.
Finally, thoroughly research and personally visit potential facilities to gain firsthand experience and make an informed decision based on your unique needs and career aspirations. Remember to ask questions at the interview about things you may need clarification about.
Visit www.nsdxpert.com to be trained and mentored for success in your career as a long-term care nurse.