5 Reasons to Consider Becoming a Home Health Nurse

home health nurseby Jane Anderson

Considering becoming a home health nurse? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a high demand for home health nurse candidates. 

Job flexibility, a return to bedside care and less physical stress are just a few of the many perks associated with home health nursing.

Home Health Nursing Job Description

A home health nurse performs the same duties as a hospital nurse but with greater variability as they usually treat a wider range of ages and illnesses. 

During the initial visit, the nurse often uses the OASIS-C2, a CMS tool designed to aid in performing in-depth assessments. 

Once the actual skilled care begins, the home health nurse may administer IV solutions, practice wound and catheter care and provide in-home disease state education. 

The nurse also acts as a liaison between the patient, family, pharmacist and doctor.

5 Benefits of Working as a Home Health Nurse

1. Take back your independence

Are you the type of person who likes to plan your day? As a home health nurse, you can organize your assignments to fit your lifestyle, with breaks according to your needs. Short-term contract travel nursing jobs provide even more flexibility.

2. Relieve physical and mental stress

Floor nurses often work standing 12-hour shifts in the hospital. As a home health nurse, you've time to decompress during your between-patient drives. 

Sue Melancon, a retired RN and home health worker, enjoyed not being "stuck in a hospital or office all day." She was able to spend time outside while moving from patient to patient.

3. Expand work skills

In one day, a home health nurse may visit a newly-discharged premature infant, a 30-year old with multiple sclerosis and an octogenarian with COPD. 

Every situation is different, providing countless opportunities for critical thinking and creativity on the job.

4. Provide Bedside Care

Throughout history, nurses have been associated with bedside care. However, the role of the nurse has shifted through time to include duties far removed from the patient's bedside. 

As a home health nurse, you're brought back to basics of nurse-patient interaction.

5. Experience the Big Picture

Never again is your patient the "the burn victim in 12D." Your patient and their families become personal to you. 

Sue Melancon has really enjoyed working with patients in their homes. "I got to really know patients and their families, and that helped me provide a different level of care."

Is a job as a home health nurse the answer for you? 

If you're burned-out with hospital nursing or are just starting to think about cutting your workload, give home-based nursing a try. Perhaps your dream job is just a drive across town.


© 2013 AMN Healthcare, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution of these materials is prohibited without the expressed written authorization of AMN Healthcare, Inc.