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Facts About Working in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)

RNs, CNAs, LPNs, & Allied Staff Are in High Demand at SNFs

Whether you're new to the medical industry or not, odds are pretty solid that you've been told about all the jobs, include per diem jobs, at local skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Recruitment efforts for skilled nursing facilities pounce swiftly on new nurses and assistants straight out of nursing school or certification because the competition is fierce. Nevertheless, how much do you actually know about SNF jobs? How much do you know about the industry? Here are some quick facts to familiarize yourself:

RNs, LPNs, & CNAs Working in Skilled Nursing Facilities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020 there were 3.1 million registered nurses (RNs), 688,100 licensed practical or vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs), and 1.4 million certified nursing assistants working. Of those active jobs, 37% of CNAs, 38% of LPNs, and 6% of RNs were working those jobs in skilled nursing facilities.

Pros and Cons of Working in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) 

A high volume of our PRN job placements involves nurses, assistants, and allied health workers picking up SNF jobs through our platform. Despite the size of the SNF industry, staffing shortages are unfortunately common. If you're on the fence about whether to begin filling in, this list should help you.


Work for and witness your patient's rehabilitation. This positive attribute should not be overlooked. Medical staff who work in hospitals or other clinical settings usually have only short-term contact with their patients. Having the opportunity to witness your patient's rehabilitation can provide a true sense of purpose and satisfaction to your work.


Not every patient in an SNF is able to rehabilitate and go back to their home or to a more independent living situation. In fact, some don't want to rehabilitate and are ready to give up. This aspect can be emotionally taxing, particularly when you have a patient who was initially rehabilitating well but ultimately can't rehabilitate well enough to leave.


Form relationships through rapport with your patients. Again, due to the long-term care circumstances of an SNF, you have the opportunity to form connections with your patients that your compatriots working in the emergency department at the hospital don't. Social relationships are important for all humans, and often as we age our social relationships become fewer in number. The social connection you provide for your patients in an SNF may be very important, considering a relatively high percentage of patients in an SNF is elderly.


Forming relationships help us feel grounded and can give purpose and satisfaction to our work, but we can't ignore the truth that when attachments are formed they can be painful when broken. Furthermore, not all of your patients in an SNF will have good attitudes or fun stories about their families, friends, and neighbors. Whether you like your patient or not, they're going to be around for a while, you can expect 20-38 days actually.


Collaboration with other clinicians. This setting requires a collaborative effort from multiple medical disciplines all focused on the goal of successful rehabilitation to discharge. This allows you contact, collaboration, input, and learning opportunities from other professionals that you likely wouldn't easily find in another work setting. 


Collaboration with other clinicians isn't always easy. Nurses are strong advocates for their patients, but that doesn't mean they don't have challenges when their advocacy places them at professional odds with others on the team. Undoubtedly, this setting will sharpen and hone your advocacy skills, your teamwork skills, and your communication skills.


Diversity in your workday. Due to their nature, SNFs are a sort of halfway house for people from different walks of life with different illnesses and/or injuries. Not every patient in an SNF is elderly, neither are all the elderly folks in an SNF suffering from dementia. You can expect to have patients recovering from joint replacement surgeries, brain injuries, or extended stays in acute care.


Lots of paperwork. This is part and parcel of every medical care job, but because Medicare and Medicaid are significant players with regard to financial contributions and regulation of the industry, the paperwork is no joke. You'll adjust even though you might not like it.

Find SNF PRN Jobs by Signing Up with NursaTM

After you've taken the time to review the pros and cons of working in an SNF dive in and browse all our PRN shifts available in real-time at a skilled nursing facility near you. With more than 15,600 facilities nationwide in addition to continuing COVID concerns and a serious staffing shortage, any RN, LPN, CNA, or another allied health worker who is looking for PRN work can rest assured that there are jobs waiting for you. Download our smartphone application today to get started. Once you've registered and then verified your license you'll have immediate access to our database of PRN jobs.

You'll find that often the compensation for a PRN shift is higher than what you expect from regular staff jobs. The reason behind this can be explained with just a little help: these facilities don't have to invest the significant time and money to hire on a regular employee which means they often compensate higher to ensure someone is willing to fill the shift. Will that someone be you today?


Booher, RN
Blog published on:
September 28, 2021

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