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An Introduction to Home Health Nursing

home health nursingNot all nurses work in a hospital. Earning your Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) from Marian University opens up a wide array of career opportunities in many different environments. With the baby boomer generation approaching retirement, home health nursing is becoming increasingly more popular.

What is home health nursing?

This specialty is great for nurses who want to work outside of the hospital. As a home health nurse, you’ll work with patients in their homes. These nurses primarily work with elderly patients, but they also aid in rehabilitation for people of all ages. Home health nurses work independently while on the job within the scope of the physician’s orders. As a home health nurse, your tasks will be similar to that of nurses working in a hospital. But, you’ll also be faced with additional challenges, such as finding a clean workspace within the patient’s home. Most of the time you’ll provide care to patients on an intermittent schedule for several weeks, months or even years. Most home health nurses have multiple patients to care for and thus, make a number of patient visits on a given day.

Are there any benefits?

Home health nurses enjoy flexible hours. While most home health agencies require nurses to work 8-hour days, you won’t always work the typical 9 am to 5 pm schedule. Remember, some patients will require around-the-clock care.

Many individuals enjoy home health nursing because they are given much responsibility and autonomy. Most of the time, you’ll visit your patients on your own. This requires that nurses are confident in their clinical skills. Unlike a hospital setting, you won’t be able to ask for hands-on assistance from other nurses. However, an advisor at the home health agency is always just a phone call away if you need to consult with someone.

Many nurses view the relationships that they build with patients as a positive. Since you’ll be working with some patients over a long time frame, it’s important to always remain professional and remember exactly why you were hired.

How do you become a home health nurse?

Home health nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN examination to gain licensure as a registered nurse. Most home health nurses are employed by accredited agencies. Baccalaureate-educated nurses are most frequently hired.

What skills does it take to become a home health care nurse?

Home health nurses must have strong clinical skills. These nurses must also be critical thinkers. Since you’ll be working on your own, you’ll need to be able to make quick, educated decisions independently. Home health nurses maintain busy schedules with several patient visits per day, phone calls with patients’ family members, administrative paperwork for government records and interactions with the agency.

Home health nursing is a rewarding profession for many reasons. You’ll have the opportunity to watch your patients’ improvement and help them to become more independent.

If you’re ready to jump into this growing industry, contact us today to learn about our accelerated programs in Indianapolis and Nashville.

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