Home Healthcare Nursing
Home heathcare nursing is when nurses choose to work private duty or in uncontrolled environments, not hospitals or clinical settings. Home health nurses work with patients on all economic and social levels providing care that is one-to-one but there is often continual family interaction.
Flexibility is a must—if the home health aide doesn’t show or there isn’t anyone to perform basic care and a patient needs a bath, the home health nurse does the bath. The nurse who only wants to assess patients by asking a few predetermined questions, take and record vitals will likely not fare well in the home health care environment.
Home Health Nursing Profile
(also known as Private Duty Nursing)
What Degrees Are Required For Home Healthcare Nursing?
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN program)
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN program)
Registered Nurse (RN program)
What Is The Average Wage/Salary For A Home Healthcare Nurse(2008)?
$16.17 per hour for around 30 hours per week, dependent on experience, location and benefits. Median hourly wages for RNs: $30.03 /hr and median hourly wages for LVN/LPNs: $18.77/hr.
What Is A Job Description/Purpose For A Home Healthcare Nurse?
Home health care nurses, regardless of LVN, LPN or RN designations, must be a graduate of an accredited nursing school and licensed through the State Board of Nursing. One year of clinical experience, home health, med/surg or critical care experience recommended.
RN Case Managers coordinate patient home care needs and are an integral part of the patient’s inter- and multi-disciplinary team made up of physicians, nursing staff, aides and social care workers. Case managers will perform all intake admissions regarding home health patients and determine service eligibility. The case manager also determines the patient’s care plan and completes all necessary paperwork to comply with agency policy and federal and state laws.
Initial evaluation visits will be made by RNs who are not case managers. These RNs will make regular visits to the patient to initiate the case manager’s patient plan of care while determining his ongoing needs and any revisions to that plan of care. RNs will serve clients requiring all levels of care; including, but not limited to: specialized nursing and skilled care, preventive care, and rehabilitation care. The RN will comply with all charting procedures, prepare clinical and progress notes, coordinate services with social workers, chaplains, and physicians as patient care changes. The RN will counsel family and patients as needed and supervise and teach both licensed and unlicensed nursing and aide staff caring for patient needs in the home or healthcare setting.
LPNs and LVNs carry out services in accordance with RN and patient needs for clients. They assist the team in performance of everyday and specialized procedures, preparing for aseptic needs and assists in teaching the families and patients self-care techniques. Charting in accordance with agency policy, providing clinical and progress notes.
Private duty nursing staff, whether RN, LPN or LVN, do not work through agencies, but are hired as needed by families and patients to perform the same types of duties. There are no charting policies, save those of the individually contracted nurse. All nursing procedures however must remain federally and state compliant. If a private duty nurse is subcontracted through an agency, he/she would be expected to comply with agency rules and standards.
What Are Some Skills and Qualifications For A Home Healthcare Nurse?
- Current state licensure
- Understands and complies with accepted professional nursing standards and practices
- Pre-employment health clearance
- Med/surg/critical care nursing experience
- Medicare, Medicaid and insurance knowledge
- Ability to work as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary home health care team member
- Independent worker needing little or no supervision
- Flexibility in nursing role
- Cooperative with all members of the team
- Licensed driver with insured automobile. Vehicle must be in good working order
- Teaching patient to become a functioning member of his team by assisting in own care, as possible
- Adhering to state and agency quality standards of care
- Infection control
- Charting daily care and progress notes
- Meeting with members of the team
- Maintain patient confidentiality
- Troubleshooting equipment such as oxygen tanks and IVs
- Maintain in-home nursing supplies
- Continuing education maintenance
- Pediatric nursing care knowledge
- Geriatric nursing care knowledge
- Hospice care knowledge
What Are Some Other Skills/Qualifications For Home Healthcare Nursing?
- Clinical Skills Adapted to Home Health Use
- Pharmacotherapy Knowledge
- Excellent Bedside Manner
- Infection Control Procedure
- Basic and Specialized Nursing Skills
- Holistic Health Skills and Knowledge
- In-home behavioral skills for the bed-bound patient
- Community Nursing, including Hospice and Specialized Care such as HIV/AIDS and other communicable disease care
- Medication Administration
- Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team member
- Ability to relate one-to-one and with family members
- Listening and oral communication skills
Daily routines vary depending on home health work venue, client needs, and experience. Direct patient assessment, care, counsel, medication administration, meetings and charting will occur.
What Is The Employment Outlook/Opportunities For Home Healthcare Nursing?
Home health care services make up over 7 percent of the healthcare industry, utilizing nearly 4 percent of healthcare establishments. Registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses make up nearly 20 percent of the healthcare field. Wages and salaries are expected to rise 22 percent through 2018 for the healthcare industry.
Resume usually required as well as one or more interviews for employment.
What Are Some Other Ways To Further My Nursing Education?
Nurses should continue their opportunities to update their knowledge and skill sets by taking continuing education units (CEUs) and take part in any extra opportunities for nursing education, part or full-time nursing programs or teaching opportunities.
- Traditional Vocational Programs
- Traditional University Programs
- Online LPN programs
- Online RN programs
- Mental Health Nursing programs
- Community Nursing programs
- Continuing Education Units
Home Health Nursing Links of Interest:
American Nurses Credentialing Center: A subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Certification resources for the nursing professional.
Home Healthcare Nurse Journal: Professional journal for home healthcare and hospice nurses focusing on the interdisciplinary care and issues besetting the field.