All You Need To Know

Are you considering a career in long-term care nursing? There are many reasons you should.

As the population ages, the demand for long-term care is increasing. The job outlook for all registered nurses is faster than the average, at 7% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Here, you’ll learn more about the importance of the role of long-term nursing, and whether it’s a good career choice for you.

What Is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care consists of a variety of services and support provided to individuals and/or families across the entire life span. Patients may be experiencing physical or cognitive impairment, or need assistance with daily living activities as they deal with long-term disabilities, and/or illnesses.

What Is a Long-Term Care Nurse’s Role?

The work that long-term care nurses do involves a lot of physical tasks such as bathing, feeding, and dressing people. You’ll also provide emotional support through socialization. In some cases, you may provide medical treatment through nursing procedures like medication administration, intravenous therapy or oxygen therapy.

Many long-term care patients have chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic kidney problems, osteoarthritis, and pulmonary disease. Others may have dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, or AIDS.

Not only will you be a comfort and reliable face to them, you’ll also complete typical tasks such as:

  • Vital sign checks
  • IV therapy
  • Enteral tube feedings
  • Wound care
  • Exercises
  • Catheter care
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Ostomy care
  • Medication administration

You could work in various places, rehab facilities, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and retirement centers.

Educational Requirements for Becoming a Long-Term Care Nurse

To become a long-term care nurse, you must first become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN) by earning at least a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing. To become a standout nurse to employers, a bachelor of science in nursing will certainly assist.

Once you’ve successfully completed this stage, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX and acquire the correct state licensure to practice.

As you enter the field of nursing, we recommend you gain experience with long-term care patients. This will help you learn if it is the career path for you, and strengthen your experience and skillset on your resume.

The Pros and Cons of Working as a Long-Term Care Nurse

To make a sensible career decision, you must weigh up both the pros and cons. Here, we look at both sides of being a long-term care nurse.

The Pros

One of the big pros of being a long-term care nurse is the stability it provides. You are in huge demand. The U.S. population is aging. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2030, older people will outnumber children for the first time in history: and this will mean an increasing need for long-term care of the elderly.

This varies depending on your experience, skills, qualifications, and location. You’ll also enjoy variety, with roles offered including:

  • Bedside nurse
  • Unit manager
  • Staffing coordinator
  • Case manager
  • Director of nursing services
  • House supervisor
  • Wellness director
  • Infection control nurse
  • Wound care nurse
  • Nurse educator

Other highly rewarding pros of being a long-term care nurse include:

  • The connection you build with your patients and their families
  • You’ll improve your highly transferrable skills
  • You’ll be part of a team, not running solo

You became a nurse to make a difference – and as a long-term care nurse, you will certainly be doing that, becoming a key member of your patients’ lives.

The Cons

Of course, we must be sensible and consider the negatives in this career choice. Here’s what you need to think about:

  • It has strong emotional negativity at times – some patients will deteriorate despite your best efforts
  • High patient to nurse ratios is typical, which comes with being in demand
  • You won’t experience as many medical procedures that take place elsewhere

For many nurses, the pros massively outweigh the cons.

Start Making a Change to Your Life and Your Patients’, Today

If you’re looking for a career that makes a direct difference to people’s lives when they need it most, with variety, good salary, and stability, too, we have many clients with exciting opportunities in long-term care.

Come join our team of incredible long-term care nurses who are making a real positive impact on their patients and their families, and enjoying a rewarding and inspiring career path. Apply today, with QS Nurses.