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Registered Nurse

Positions located in:

  • Albany County
  • Schenectady County

Requirements and education:

  • RN Licensed in New York state
  • Registered Nurse 1-2 years’ experience preferred
  • Experience working with youth and adolescent population desired

A Day in the Life of a Registered Nurse

Northern Rivers Family of Services includes residences and schools on its Academy Road Campus in Albany and Park Place Campus in Schenectady. Registered nurses licensed by the New York state, are an integral part of 24/7/365 care team for the youth there. Pam, Gail, and Toni work at the Residential Treatment Facility, an inpatient mental health program, on the Albany campus; the facility is also licensed and certified. (As the overnight nurse, Toni also covers the other residences on the Academy Road Campus.)

All three nurses appreciate that they can connect and engage with the youth, and that they can help them in ways without taking care of IVs, pumps, or cardiac monitors. The youth need understanding and direction as part of their care, which takes place on beautiful safe campuses.

Click here for a typical first shift (7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.)

Here’s how a typical first shift day might go for Pam, 7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

6:50 am Pam arrives at the Residential Treatment Facility and looks over the overnight reports; she checks whether she needs to follow up on anything early this morning; she’s pleased to see that it was peaceful last night.
7:15 am Pam and the other RN on duty perform the morning count of controlled substances and prepare morning meds for residents.
8:00 am Pam starts to dispense medications, checking in with each youth. Did you have a quiet night? How did you sleep? How do you feel? One child says they’re tired, they didn’t sleep well because they have a quiz they’re not feeling sure of. Pam runs through a breathing exercise that might help. Pam makes a few notes as she goes, noting the tired resident and quiz for the team, who will be sure to check in with the youth later on to provide support and any suggestions for the next time. Pam texts the child’s teacher to make him aware, and she will detail the information in the case file before long. 
Pam reviews information about this resident and makes suggestions about follow-up later in the day.
9:30 am Pam turns to some of her case management responsibilities. She calls to schedule an appointment for one youth, arranges transportation, notifies the care team, and highlights any necessary information for the doctor who will be seeing the youth.
10:15 am Pam gathers paperwork and prepares some questions and suggestions for a meeting to discuss the status and aftercare medical plan for one of the residents, who might be released soon.
11:20 am Pam returns a call to a parent whose child is new to the facility. She lets the parent know that their child is adapting well, schedules a phone call for the family, and shares that the youth especially likes science and the current unit on classifying animals in school. 
12:00 pm  Lunch.
1:00 pm  At her desk, Pam responds to an information request regarding one of the residents for an upcoming meeting about his treatment and care plans, and she fields an email from an insurance company requesting documentation for a prior authorization for a medical visit.
2:30 pm Pam readies afternoon meds for the youth who take them three times a day; they’ll be back soon from school.
2:45 pm The youth are back, unwinding from the school day; some hyper, some tired. Pam seeks out the student who had the quiz, and when she has the opportunity to ask quietly about it, she gets a thumbs up.
3:20 pm  As her shift winds down, Pam touches base with team members about a few things to share with the nurses coming on duty. She will mention the special request for information for a resident that she gathered this afternoon, the one youth who was tired this morning and the other who is anxious about a project.

Click here for a typical second shift (3:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m.)

Here’s how a typical second shift day might go for Gail, 3:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m.

3:20 pm Gail arrives for her shift, puts her things away, and checks in with Pam, who is going off duty, about how the day has gone. She and her shift partner conduct the afternoon med count.
4:00 pm Gail has a sensitive one-on-one discussion with a teen about changing hygiene needs, offering advice and information. She also meets with a few residents who have expressed an interest in learning more about nutrition; she talks about food groups and healthy eating choices, and she gives each a handout for later reference.
5:15 pm Dinner.
6:00 pm As the kids relax or do homework, Gail sits with a student working on a history project that covers early 20th century inventions. She admires the drawings the student has done of an airplane and a television, and she says that they are good choices of two inventions that have changed our world.
7:30 pm Gail prepares and gives residents their nighttime medications, watching to see the med is swallowed. She checks in with each one to see whether they feel peaceful or not: "Q" is the response for all is quiet. Tonight, the residence is peaceful.
8:30 pm Gail sits down with her laptop, logs in, and makes a few updates in the residents’ charts. The one particularly tired resident was feeling all right and the youth anxious about a project made good progress on it. 
8:45 pm One resident seeks Gail out because he has a headache; she gives him Tylenol. Another resident doesn’t feel quite right, but it’s more a general rather than specific situation. Gail determines an urgent care or emergency room visit is not needed right now, but notes it in the chart and alerts the overnight nurse.
9:00 pm Gail prepares for an upcoming treatment team meeting about a few of the residents.


Click here for a typical third shift (11:00 p.m.–7:00 a.m.)

Here’s how a typical third shift day might go for Toni, 11:00 p.m.–7:00 a.m.

10:50 pm Toni arrives and talks with a nurse going off duty, who shares a few updates; one youth fairly new to the campus is having a restless night; another has been sick to his stomach. The nurses also count narcotics.
11:30 pm After looking over the daily logs, Toni checks on the youth who has been sick to his stomach. He is awake, so she offers graham crackers and ginger ale. Toni then goes to the room of the child new to campus; she asks the child if she wants company for a while. The child says yes; Toni sits quietly for a little bit as the child relaxes in bed and her breathing evens. Toni says she’ll peek in later to be sure all is well; the child nods.
1:30 am Toni logs on to update electronic health records, including the resident who was sick and another who was having trouble sleeping. She then completes lab orders for residents who are due to have their blood drawn and reviews lab results for some of the youth, making sure that the timing for the next set of labs is recorded. She notes to check in with the provider about a question she has regarding labs for a particular resident.
2:30 am Meal break.

3:00 am

Toni checks on the youth who was sick to his stomach; he is sound asleep. She sees that the ginger ale and graham crackers are gone; she feels they must have helped. That will go in his chart. And the girl new to the program is also asleep. Toni continues to check on the residents; all continues to be quiet.
4:30 am Toni logs onto her laptop again and records the new details, including that the one who had a stomachache and the one who had been awake much too late are both asleep. Toni moves on to the information about a youth who had left campus without authorization, reading the assessment about where the youth had been and what he had done; she makes a note that the youth will need to see a doctor again soon. She also suggests a one on one with the new child to further help her settling in.
6:45 am  The nurses who will be on duty between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. have arrived, and before she leaves, Toni takes the opportunity to share about the youth who had bad nights and why as well as other specifics to be sure the next shift nurses will be informed.