What are the benefits of working in a long-term care facility?

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Working in a long-term care facility is a new experience for many international nurses.

Long-term care involves a variety of nursing and support services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. According to NurseJournal, “a career in LTC nursing offers unprecedented professional growth opportunities. As the U.S. population ages and the need for primary healthcare expands among all demographic groups, the demand for long-term care nurses is expected to explode over the next decade.”

Long-term care is a great opportunity for helping others, making a difference in your community, and forming bonds. Listed below are some of the great advantages that RNs working in long-term care enjoy.

Build Relationships with Patients

Patients that receive long-term care will generally live at the skilled nursing facility for a long time, such as months, and even years. This is far different from hospital settings where patients are only there for a few days. By working at a long-term facility, this gives you an opportunity to get to know patients and their families on a personal level. These bonds with your patients help create a rewarding, meaningful career.

Learn From Patients

As you get to know your patients, you will discover that each person has a unique story to tell, wisdom to share, and joke to make your day. For senior patients, they have lived a long, full life and will most likely be willing to share some life lessons with you. By listening to their stories and showing interest, you can learn a great deal from the elderly.

Your Services Will Be Appreciated

No matter what role you play at work, you will likely be providing a wide variety of care for your patients. Since patients in long-term care facilities can no longer live independently, most will be grateful for your daily care and support. Additionally, your patients’ family and friends will appreciate the compassionate services you provide to their loved ones. Indeed, this gives them peace of mind that their loved ones are in good, caring hands. 

Continue Learning About Aging

Aging is a natural process that everyone experiences. By working with patients in long-term care, you will learn more about the aging process beyond what was taught in school and improve your understanding of the aging brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias, and other neurodegenerative diseases (National Institute on Aging). Aside from the educational aspect, this career will also help you develop more compassion for those easing through a natural stage of life. When you need to take care of an aging loved one in your family, this experience will help prepare you for those challenging days ahead.

Work in a Challenging but Supportive Environment

The U.S. has a nursing shortage that is impacting all corners of the U.S. healthcare system from the largest hospitals to local clinics and long-term care. Nurses experience short staffing from time to time regardless of where they are working and thinking this will never happen where you are assigned in not realistic.

This doesn’t mean that nursing in a long-term care facility won’t lead to a highly rewarding job that you look forward to going to each day. Ideally you will find that the majority of your co-workers are kind, compassionate, and empathetic individuals that care about the health and well-being of each patient as nurses do in all care settings.

Clearly, there are numerous benefits to working at a long-term care facility.


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