10 Struggles of a Long-Term Care Nurse


Being in the care-providing profession requires a lot of things. It requires patience, a caring heart, a positive attitude and a professional mind. Each of these things is necessary in order to be effectively productive at the job while not getting too involved with the patients. A nurse needs to understand the condition of a patient and what they need in order to get better. Long-term care nurses deal with patients who require prolonged care and attention. As a result, they are bound to face more struggles in their line of work. Here are 10 struggles of a long-term care nurse:

  1. Being overworked

Even as the nursing profession grows more popular in America by the day, the country still faces the challenge of few staff in the nursing homes. This leads to few people left to take care of the geriatric population. On the other hand, this also leads to the Lon-term Care nurses having a lot of workload which is sometimes more than they can handle.

  1. Lack of funds in the nursing homes

The other major challenge that faces the LTC nurses is lack of funds by the nursing homes to keep up with the necessary technology used in intensive medical treatment of the residents in case of an emergency. The nurses are left to act with very little knowledge in an attempt to save the life of a patient while they may not specialize in that area. As a result, most of the nursing homes do not have up to date technology to effectively service the residents such the pyxis automated dispensing system.

  1. Lack of training programs

There are no active training programs for the long-term care nurses. As a result, the nurses have to depend on their own skill while they develop the necessary qualities while in line of duty. They have to train themselves to be organized and prioritize various conditions which are risky for the residents’ health.

  1. Task-oriented instead of patient-oriented

The LTC nurses spend a lot of time trying to develop the necessary skills to be effective in their job and as a result end up spending more time in isolation. Due to the focus on learning skills and understanding the job, most of these LTC nurses end up becoming task oriented rather than being focused on the overall wellbeing of the patients.

  1. Self-motivation

There are no forms of motivation for the LTC nurses. This is partly why there are high turn-over rates in this profession as the nurses do not feel motivated to come to work. They only rely on self-motivation and finding comfort in giving their services, tie and attention to the residents at the nursing homes.

  1. Second-rate job assumption

The LTC nursing job is looked down upon which also contributes to the high turn-over rates and few recruitment rates in the job as well. This is a challenge because working in a field is viewed as second-rate by many may not promote having pride in one’s job.

  1. Thin line between elder abuse and being strict

There is a fine line when it comes to being strict and elder abuse. When addressing the elderly, some of them may require the Long-term care nurses to be strict in areas such as intake of medication and sanitation. Nurses’ intentions stand at risk of being misunderstood as some elderly people might find it a means of intimidating them by being firm and strict in their tone. This is one of the challenge that the LTC nurses experience.

  1. Low income

The LTC nursing jobs do not pay very well which is discouraging to those with the potential of making good care providers for the geriatric population. This is yet another factor that is contributing to the few nurses in this department.

  1. Patient ratio

There is an unreasonable high number of patient’s ratio to available nurses in most nursing homes. The generally accepted ration is 1:30 meaning one long-term care nurse is expected to be able to handle 30 patients. As a result, the nurses are not able to be fully productive in their work and in turn the patients are not given high quality care.

  1. Increase in elderly population

This is a major challenge for the LTC nurses. As the elderly population rises, the few nurses in nursing homes feel overworked. As a result, there are more turnovers leading to even less nurses being left in the profession.

These problems can be solved should through proper analysis and strategy development. Motivation and job satisfaction are key concepts to consider in the process of bringing change in the Long-term Care nursing department.


I am Dr. Marion Johnson, a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, and A clinician with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) both from Walden University. I have worked as a nurse in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. Presently, I am doing something I love most, which is being an online instructor. In this position, I believe I can learn, educate, create and implement positive input into the nursing field. Besides work, I am also an avid reader of nursing journals and articles that is why I have a passion for reading, learning and sharing on the trending topics in the nursing arena.

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