09 December 2015

Nurses say stigma of working in a nursing home nurse job is unjustified

Moving straight into a nursing home nurse job for a newly qualified nurse can still carry a stigma according to both student and qualified nurses on nurse twitter chat #NurChat. Despite the potential for greater salaries and the chance to develop delegation and management skills from the outset, a nursing home nurse job isn’t always seen as a valid career choice.

In the recent #NurChat on the topic of NHS nurse jobs vs nursing home jobs for newly qualified nurses, nursing homes were seen as the second choice career path, possibly due to unfounded stigma that it’s in some way a job for the less talented.

@clarahopscotchI think it's def looked down on and something you do when you can't get a job elsewhere. #nurchat

The lack of nursing home placements and clinical training concerning nursing home scenarios gave the impression to one student nurse that the NHS was the only route for a newly qualified nurse to take. Others stated that a lack of available jobs for newly qualified nurses heavily influenced their choices, while others felt that the private sector wasn’t seen as a career option with real potential for development.

@shizc1 #NurChat nursing homes seen as a dead end job, but very short sighted as dealing with complex health issues without Drs on site

@LeggeAngie I think there is. People see it as less exciting - dont appreciate its a very complex area #Nurchat

However, those nurses who have working in nursing home nurse jobs couldn’t be more positive about their career choices and the learning opportunities they have experienced. Many agreed that it’s a far more complex nursing job than is sometimes appreciated. The focus on holistic healthcare and managing long term conditions is in direct contrast with the short-term nature of acute care, allowing for the development of a different set of skills that include relationship building with patients, team work and crisis management.

@clarahopscotch I've found nursing home nursing means you really have to think on your feet. No doctors on the end of a pager. Limited equipment.

While access to training can be equally limited across both environments, many felt the opportunity for self-development was greater in the nursing home setting. However, the availability of preceptorships and structured supervision was less likely in the nursing home setting.

Despite the opportunities for newly qualified nurses in nursing homes being under represented and not perceived as a first choice nursing career, there are plenty of benefits to choosing this career path. According to the nurses on #NurChat, there’s no justification for the stigma surrounding nursing home nurse jobs that seems to exist.

@DonnaNewcross I learnt more in the nursing home than I did in the hospital. So diverse. Lots of management exp too #nurchat

Many of the nurses sharing on #NurChat just wanted to the find the right career opportunity for them, which allowed for the consolidation of the skills learned in training with a supportive environment to continue their learning. For some this meant an NHS nursing job was the only option, but others went straight for the private sector.

The full transcript of this discussion on NHS vs Nursing Home Jobs for Newly Qualified Nurses can be found here.