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The Ultimate Guide to Building a Career in Senior Living Nursing

A career path in senior living nursing can begin in many ways, depending on an individual’s interests and goals.

In this article, we will take a look at the most common entry points into a senior living nursing career and the opportunities at each point. 

We’ll also discuss how a career in senior living can help you meet your nursing goals.

What senior living nursing education and career paths are available?

The senior living nursing practice is a growing profession with consistent demand. After all, there will always be a need for loving individuals with a passion for caring for seniors.

But do you feel pulled to a nursing career that offers inspiration and fulfillment, as well as long-term job growth opportunities?

The senior living nursing profession provides a wide range of job opportunities available and a number of ways for nursing students to enter into their dream careers. 

However, it also offers much more than that: It provides nurses with the opportunity to feel true fulfillment and purpose in their work.

Let’s take a look at the general job duties of senior living nurses:

  • Coordinate care and communication with doctors, families, and fellow nurses
  • Administer medications
  • Assist with physical exams
  • Check vital signs
  • Respond to emergency situations
  • Keep medical records accurate and complete
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest treatment, medication, and care options

Though certification isn’t always required, a senior living nurse will often become a certified nursing assistant first in their career, which requires completing a certification.

Eventually, CNAs or care partners may find they want to continue their education to become licensed vocational nurses (LVN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), or registered nurses (RN).

Registered nurse education path

Registered nurses generally either complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or other state-approved program and must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Licensed vocational nurse education path

LVNs must complete a state-approved LVN program and pass the NCLEX-PN.

It’s generally faster to become an LVN and begin working in your desired location.

Some people remain in this position, while others will continue training to become an RN.

Continuing education opportunities for senior living nurses

If your passion to be a nurse takes you further than an ADN or BSN program, you can even get a master’s degree or a doctoral degree—Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Regardless of how far you decide to take your education, there are numerous rewarding nursing careers at every stage. 

How to get started in the senior living nursing practice

Individuals who are seeking a direct care position or nurse career path will find they have several options to get started.

To become a senior living nurse, you will need specific training and licensing. However, if you desire a career in direct care, you often can get started right away while you continue working toward your nursing degree.

A senior living community is among the best places to get started on your nursing career journey because they offer numerous positions in both direct care and nursing.

At Kensington Place Redwood City, for example, we invite all levels of care professionals, including:

  • Care partners
  • CNAs
  • LVNs
  • RNs
  • Physician assistants (PA)
  • Nurse practitioners (NP)

Professionals from all walks of life are welcomed into our community, as long as they share a love for seniors, a spirit to serve, and a willingness to learn and grow each day.

Once you begin your career in senior living, you can decide where it is you feel you fit best. This may mean continuing your education to become an RN or even an NP.

Many of our team members began in one position and eventually were promoted to other roles or even leadership roles.

Your nursing career path may begin in one direction and grow to places you never dreamed it could.

Find a satisfying career in health care through senior living

Senior living communities provide numerous job options for aspiring nurses or anyone interested in a career in health care.

Even individuals who are unsure whether this field is right for them can try out a position in dining, life enrichment, or housekeeping and see how their interests grow over time.

Kensington Place Redwood City is a memory care community offering a full spectrum of clinical support for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

We have a specialized memory care team with a dedicated director, and licensed nurses on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our high staff-to-resident ratio allows us to focus on each resident individually, and go above and beyond for each person.

In our community, our care partners and licensed nurses will find themselves providing direct care in two cozy, intimate “neighborhoods” designed to accommodate specific degrees of memory loss.

Memory Care Supervisor Kymberly Martinez says the following about working in our community:

“I love that I can serve residents in the most dignified, loving way. My heart is full knowing that we truly care and love our residents as we do our own families. Going above and beyond to make sure we are delivering our core values is one of the most rewarding feelings.”

Leadership roles in nursing career paths

Kensington Place Redwood City is a community that encourages growth and has fostered many career advancements.

If you’re interested in a career in health care, or specifically in nursing, we welcome you to contact us and tell us about your interests and experience. 

Even if you have no care certification, all we ask is that you bring a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. 

We offer training and employee assistance programs to help you be where you want to be, both in our community and in your career.

Apply to join Kensington Place Redwood City’s community and become part of our family

At Kensington Place Redwood City, Our Promise is to love and care for our residents as we do our own families.

This Promise is extended to our team members as well—when you join our team, you become part of our family.

We offer the following benefits to our team members:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Health insurance, life insurance, and 401K starting at 32 hours per week
  • Generous paid time off
  • Employee assistance program
  • Complimentary lunches and dinners

Our community is hosting a monthly job fair with in-person interviews and the potential to get hired on the same day. 

We also offer many volunteer opportunities if you’re looking to become involved in our community in a different way first.

Reach out to us today if you’re interested in learning more about our available nursing jobs or applying for a care or nursing position.

Please consider joining our loving, caring team if you share our love for seniors, our passion for excellence, our commitment to respecting each other, and our spirit to serve.

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