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Long-term Care Nurse
The long-term care nurse is a registered nurse who has a specialty in the field of gerontology. The study of gerontology is the study of aging or the care of people in the later stages of life. Long-term care nurses must be very compassionate, caring nurses who are capable of assisting residents in nursing homes who may not necessarily want to be there and may not want the long term care nurse’s help at all. This type of nurse typically works long hours and must go through two to four years of a college education.
Education of Long-term care nurse
The education required to be qualified as a long-term care nurse includes either an Associate’s degree or a Bachelors degree in nursing. The Associates degree takes about two years to complete while the Bachelors takes about four, although upon graduation through either program you will be ready to take any state exams required to be given the title of Registered Nurse. Both of these degree programs may be completed through a wide variety of the best online colleges and top online universities where the nursing student may benefit from various distance learning opportunities as well as accelerated programs. While the classes for these types of degrees are done via the internet, you will still be required to attend some clinical training, which is a special type of on the job training in a medical facility. While you will generally do rounds throughout the facility, gaining training and knowledge in all departments, you may choose to focus your clinical studies on geriatric care in a long term care facility. This will help you gain additional knowledge that will help you gain employment in your future career goals.
Duties and Hours
The duties of a long-term care nurse involve admitting residents into long term care facilities, administering wound care as needed, performing first aid in the event of an injury to a patient, and administering medications. In addition, the long-term nurse will routinely check on each resident they are assigned to in order to ensure they are safe and secure throughout the shift. They will also check with the nurse’s aids about the progress of the resident’s daily living activities including their eating habits and attitude. The long-term care nurse will also give progress reports to doctors as they come in and check on the residents in their care as well as update the family members to any changes in their condition. Hours for the long term care nurse may vary, since the point of a person living in long term care units is that they require twenty four hour care. The nurse may be required to work nights, weekends and holidays, and since there is a shortage of long term care nurses, they may also be required to work double shifts or come in on their days off to cover any empty spots in the schedule. These additional hours may be beneficial to the nurse as they will earn overtime pay for each hour over 40 hours worked in one week. With the median hourly wage for an RN in the long term field being around $25, the overtime earned pays off quickly.
To become a long-term care nurse, enroll in classes today. You can change your life by getting an education.