Working in a Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled Nursing at Brooks

If you’re considering working at a skilled nursing facility, here's everything you need to know (including how to get started).

Skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation is one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States. The growth of this market is attributed to the rise in the geriatric population and the growing prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, paralysis, and hypertension.

Skilled nursing facilities employ a wide range of professionals, from registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) to nurse assistants and allied health workers. Since skilled nursing facilities are highly collaborative environments that provide exceptional mentorship opportunities for nursing professionals.

What is skilled nursing?

Skilled nursing care is medically necessary care that requires the routine supervision of a licensed, qualified medical professional. Skilled nursing facilities, sometimes called “nursing homes,” are in-patient rehabilitation and medical treatment centers staffed with trained medical professionals.

Professionals at a skilled nursing facility include doctors, specialists, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, and nutritionists, among others.

What kinds of treatments will I provide?

Skilled nursing facilities offer a wide range of services and medical care to help prepare patients for a return to home. These include:

  • Collaboration with therapists. Working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists who use various exercises to help patients ease pain, restore balance, perform day-to-day tasks, and communicate.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. Providing patients with lung conditions the assistance and care they need to manage their symptoms, improve lung function, and achieve independence.
  • Wound care. Treating and caring for patients suffering wounds such as those from surgery, illness, accident, and amputation.
  • Custodial care. Non-medical care designed to help individuals with their activities of daily living (ADL), like bathing, dressing, grooming, and eating.
  • Intravenous (IV) care. Various IV care services, such as injections, IV hydration, IV feeding, or Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).
  • Medical monitoring. This may include tracking of vital signs and medical conditions and maintaining patient records, among other services.

What kind of facilities will I work in?

Skilled nursing is primarily regulated by the U.S. Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Skilled nursing facilities must meet strict criteria and be subject to periodic inspections to ensure quality standards are met.

As a result, skilled nursing care is typically offered in facilities certified by CMS, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living communities that meet the criteria.

What kinds of patients will I work with?

As a skilled nursing facility professional, you’ll mostly work with patients recovering from surgery, serious injury, extensive treatment for kidney, heart, or respiratory conditions, stroke, and other conditions.

These individuals may still require rehabilitation following their release from the hospital. You’ll also be working with geriatric patients, so you must be comfortable around elderly folks to work at a skilled nursing facility.

What’s the difference between a nursing facility and assisted living?

When it comes to caring for a loved one, different options are available for families. Some of the most common caregiving options that we often hear discussed are skilled nursing facilities and assisted living.

Skilled nursing facilities offer 24/7 medical care and rehabilitative services to patients. Care is provided by registered nurses in a medical setting, usually under the direction of a doctor.

Assisted living, on the other hand, offers moderate care for residents who do not need full-time assistance, but require ample medical support.

What education or skills do I need?

Those working in skilled nursing facilities must meet certain qualifications. These depend on the type of work you want to do in a skilled nursing facility. A management-level position may require at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or a related subject.

To work as an RN or LPN, you must complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. All nursing certifications require an active nursing license, graduation from an accredited nursing school, and passing an exam. Those interested in working in skilled nursing facilities may benefit from having the following certifications:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner Certification (ANP-BC)
  • Certified Nurse Educator (CNE)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification (PMHNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (FNP)
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification (CCRN)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN)

Some roles — such as patient sitter — may not require educational qualifications or certifications. However, applicants must demonstrate a high level of compassion and empathy, the ability to monitor a patient’s emotional state, and excellent communication skills.

Apply to work at a Brooks Rehabilitation skilled nursing facility today!

If you are a medical professional with the skills, experience, and positive attitude needed to succeed at a skilled nursing facility, consider joining Brooks Rehabilitation. You’ll work alongside a dynamic team of dedicated professionals, placing you in a well-rounded and supportive environment.

Apply today to work at one of our skilled nursing facilities.

Join our team.

It’s time to do the best work of your life.

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