How to Become a Home Health Care Nurse

Home Health Care Nursing Information and Overview

Home nursing allows the patient and his family to maintain dignity and independence. According to the National Association for Home Care, more than 7 million people in the United States need home care services because of an acute illness, long-term health problem, permanent disability, or terminal illness.

Basics of home nursing

Nurses practice in a number of places: hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers and home nursing. Home health care is a growing phenomenon as more and more patients and their families wish to receive care in their homes. The history of home nursing originated in public health care, where public health nurses made home visits to promote health education and provide treatment as part of community programs. Today, academic programs train home care nurses, and agencies place home care nurses with sick individuals and their families, based on the nurse’s experience and qualifications. In many cases there is a joint relationship between the agency and the academic institution.

Many changes have occurred in the field of home care. This includes Medicare and Medicaid, as well as long-term care insurance reimbursement and documentation. It is important for the nurse and nursing agency to be aware of the many factors that go into these rules and regulations that result from these organizations. Population and demographic changes are also taking place. As baby boomers approach retirement, they pose new challenges for the homecare industry. Technology and medical care in hospitals have resulted in shorter inpatient stays and more at-home rehabilitation. Increasingly, outpatient medical interventions with subsequent care at home are also taking place. This has led to a decrease in the mortality rate from these technologies, and medical care has led to an increase in morbidity and chronic diseases, making the need for home health care a higher priority.

Job Description Home Nurse

Through a range of skills and experience, home health nurses specialize in a wide range of treatments; emotional support, education for patients recovering from illness and injury, for young children and adults, for women who have recently given birth, for the elderly who need palliative care for chronic illnesses.

A practicing nurse must have the skills to provide care in a unique setting, such as a B. at someone’s home to afford. The nurse works with the patient and family and needs to understand the communication skills for such dynamics. Rapport is evident in all nursing positions, but working in a patient’s own living space requires a different level of skill and understanding. There is autonomous decision-making as the caregiver no longer works as a team with other caregivers in a structured environment, but is now a member of the ‘family’ team. The host family has cultural values ​​that are important and different for each patient and must be treated with the utmost sensitivity. Other skills include critical thinking, coordination, evaluation, communication and documentation.

Home nurses also specialize in caring for children with disabilities, which requires additional skills such as patience and an understanding of family needs. Children today live with disabilities that twenty years ago would have led to death. Genetic disorders, congenital physical impairments and injuries are just a few of them. Many families are familiar with managing the needs of the child, but still need the specialized care that only a home caregiver can provide. It is important for a home nurse to be aware of the family’s expertise about the child’s condition in order to provide appropriate care for the child. There are many complexities, but most importantly, a positive attitude and positive reinforcement are paramount to the child’s development.

Medication coordination between the home nurse, physician, and pharmacist ensures proper management of the precise science behind administering the correct dose, timing, and combinations to the patient. Nurses in home health care should be familiar with pharmacology and receive training on various medications used by patients in the clinical setting.

Many advanced practicing nurses are familiar with medication regimens. They have completed graduate level programs. The home health care agencies believe that a nurse should have at least one year of clinical experience before entering home health care. Advanced practicing nurses can accelerate this training by helping new nurses understand the home healthcare market and doctrine.

employment and salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest health care profession, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a serious shortage of nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The median salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs being in hospital. For home nursing, the salary is $49,000. For long-term care facilities, they were lowest at $48,200.

Initial and continuing education

Most home nursing nurses receive their training from accredited nursing schools across the country with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN), or a master’s degree in nursing (MSN). According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2004 there were 674 BSN nursing programs and 846 ADN programs. In addition, in 2004 there were 417 master’s programs, 93 doctoral programs and 46 joint BSN doctoral programs. The associate degree program takes 2 to 3 years while the bachelor degree takes 4 years. Nurses can also earn specialized professional certifications in geriatric care or life care planning online.

In addition, a bachelor’s degree is often essential for those nurses who choose to advance into administrative positions or research, consulting and teaching. A bachelor’s degree is also important for becoming a registered nurse, anesthesiologist, midwife, and naturopath (US Department of Labor, 2004).

All home health nurses have clinical experience under supervision during their training, but as noted, advanced practicing nurses hold a master’s degree and, unlike bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, have at least two years of post-clinical experience. Coursework includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, psychology and behavioral sciences and humanities. Many of these programs have training in nursing homes, public health departments, outpatient clinics, and outpatient clinics. (US Department of Labor, 2004).

Whether a nurse is trained in a hospital, nursing facility, or in home care, ongoing education is required. Healthcare is changing rapidly, and keeping up with the latest developments improves patient care and healthcare processes. Universities, continuing education programs and websites all offer continuing education. One such organization that offers continuing education is the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


There are many rewards to becoming a home health nurse. Rewards include the relationship with a patient and their family, autonomy, independence, and a commitment to critical thinking. The 21st century brings many opportunities and challenges. We must address these challenges – there is an aging baby boomer population, a growing morbidity factor from increasing medical technology and patient care, and the increasing lack of care services.

Becoming a home health nurse these days is exciting and one life-changing opportunity at a time. With clinical experience and proper training, a home health nurse will lead the future of medical care.

Thanks to Michael V. Gruber | #Home #Health #Care #Nurse

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