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Aging patients that may need a certain level of care (but are themselves still able to perform some daily tasks at home) may choose to stay in assisted living communities. Assisted living facilities provide care to elderly who do not need constant care, only assistance.

Nurses and healthcare professionals in assisted living facilities offer 24-hour supervision and primary medical care to their elder patients. As the demand for nurses in the healthcare services continues to develop, the assisted living facilities also experience shortages in nurses.

Demand for assisted living nurses

Due to the worldwide shortage of nurses, many assisted living facilities are also facing a shortage in the healthcare staff. In addition, it is said that by 2050, there will be 15,000,000 elders who will need long term care in the United States. Elder care remains as one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, as it is predicted that there will be 1.2 million job openings by 2025 in the said industry. The high demand for nurses in assisted living facilities makes the career an excellent pathway for aspiring nurses.

Responsibilities and duties of assisted living nurses

Unlike the nurses in skilled nursing facilities who provide a higher level of care, nurses in assisted living facilities provide basic healthcare to the elders. They have many roles, some of which include the following:

Assist residents with daily tasks

In an assisted living facility, nurses help disabled or physically challenged elders with their daily activities, which include bathing and dressing up.

Ensure that residents acquire overall wellness

Nurses in the facility create and initiate wellness programs that help the elders stay active and healthy. They also understand the daily challenges that the residents face; therefore, they try to keep a supportive and uplifting environment, to improve the spiritual well-being of each elder patient. In addition, exercises involving physical therapy and rehabilitation are implemented by the healthcare staff for the residents.

Provide basic healthcare

Assisted living nurses constantly manage the pain and observe any side effects of the residents towards administered medications.  They also provide quality nursing care to these patients, by ensuring that their medications are properly administered and that the residents are taking their medicine. They also assess and monitor the health status of residents, and they manage the total care by preparing IVs, drawing blood, giving injections, and ensuring that their vital signs are stable.

Render specialized care

Nurses do more than just help the residents accomplish their daily tasks; they also provide specialized care for patients in the facility. Nurses aid elders who have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or similar types of disorders, with memory care. They also assist the residents with pain management,  psychological care, and general support during meals and gatherings. Nurses also interact and build relationships with the residents to provide the optimum care for their needs, and to be able to fully observe them, in case of any minor health complications.

Contact residents’ families

Nurses in the facility are responsible for interacting with the families of the residents, and informing them of any changes in their health or care plan.  

Alternate career pathways

Registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are types of nurses that work in assisted living facilities. You may choose to take alternative career pathways by taking further studies to become a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, or district/practice nurse. To become a director of nursing in the facility, you must also take up management. You may also choose to acquire a specialization through obtaining an MSN degree to become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, or a nurse consultant. The responsibilities of each nurse career greatly varies from one another, so it is important for you to properly choose which nursing career you hope to enter.


Due to the aging populations, assisted living nurses are highly needed nowadays. Assisted living nurses do more than just assist the residents with their daily activities, they also provide nursing care to the patients and aid in providing them with medication. They also overlook and create medication programs, wellness programs, and individual resident service plans to ensure that the residents are comfortable and healthy. They continuously check on the residents and communicate with their family members regarding the health and needs of the resident. They always make sure that the environment in the facility is one that is supportive and focused so that the residents feel a sense of purpose everyday.

Indeed, being an assisted living nurse is a difficult but rewarding career, where you will be able to help individuals live longer and with better quality. 

Find open healthcare jobs on medpath here.

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