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Home Health Nurse Roles And Responsibilities

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Will Community Health Nursing Change Post

The daily duties of a Home Healthcare Nurse

The pandemic will likely change the nation’s approach to community health, prompting a greater emphasis on preparedness and preventive measures. COVID-19 was a wake-up call for many communities who found that their infrastructure was lacking, delaying critical interventions and executing an actionable, cohesive plan. Historically, public health nurses have worked within very limited budgets, but post-pandemic, it is probable that nurses in this specialty will benefit from additional funding.

Nurses interested in a community health career should consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which they can complete through a streamlined online RN to BSN program. Accredited programs that include coursework in community-based nursing theories as well as disaster response can be helpful, especially for those who plan to seek certification. Following graduation and the accumulation of five years of experience in a public health position, you will be eligible to pursue professional certification through the National Board of Public Health Examiners .

Home Health Care Nurse Job Description

Home health care nurses provide individual care to patients in their own homes. Many patients of home health care nurses are either elderly, permanently disabled or temporarily disabled due to recent injury. Home health care nurses focus all of their attention on one patient for a continued period of time on a daily basis. They provide rehabilitation assistance to help patients recover from injuries and regain full health and functionality. Home health care nurses develop treatment plans for their patients and help their patients family members understand the patients condition and help provide care. Sometimes home health care nurses are employed in private homes to oversee the daily activities of an elderly patient suffering from Alzheimers or dementia who requires daily monitoring and assistance. The role of a home health care nurse can be intense since they do not typically have additional supporting nurses or physicians to rely on and must carry the full responsible for caring for their patient by themselves.

Home Health Nurse Salary & Employment

Medically stable patients who still need nursing care can qualify for home health care. Certain patients with mobility challenges and those who have difficulty traveling to a health care facility can also qualify for home health. As the aging population increases and hospitals strive to reduce costs by reducing the number of unnecessary lengthy hospital stays, home health nurses are in high demand. According to, the median income for a home health RN is $75,871 annually. An LVN/LPN can earn $47,546, while a home health assistant can earn $25,952. These values can vary depending on the state or city of employment, as well as experience.

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Barriers In Home Health Nursing

Home health nursing is a unique field considering the obstacles faced by healthcare professionals. When out visiting clients, the nurse is alone and cannot rely on others most of the time. Nurses in home health care must learn to be autonomous.

The variety of home conditions that a nurse will step into can also present problems. Cleanliness and safety play large roles in client care. Not all homes are equipped to provide a clean environment for the client. Environmental issues in the home include unsanitary conditions that allow for bacterial growth and conditions that may increase the risk of falling for the client, such as poor lighting and area rugs. Education regarding this is important for the nurse to share with the client.

Medication adherence is also more complicated at home. Unlike in a hospital setting, the medication is scheduled around the clock and readily available. It is really dependent on the client’s resources and financial situation. Also, client compliance, or client adherence to the plan of care, factors into client health outcomes.

What Does A Home Health Care Nurse Do


As the U.S. population ages and the proportion of older Americans increases in size, the demand for healthcare is expected to grow significantly. Not only are we going to see a need for clinicians in greater numbers, but we are especially going to see the demand increase in areas of healthcare that can have a positive impact on the overall cost of care. Home healthcare, when used in a coordinated effort to keep patients out of the hospital and compliant with treatment regimens, plays an important part in reducing hospital stays and costly readmissions. Home health care nurses play a vital role in the patient care continuum and in compliance with care regimens that ensure better outcomes.

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Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Home Health Nurse

By Ashley Brooks on 05/15/2018

The thought of working in the medical field has always intrigued you. You know that healthcare is a growing, stable area of expertise, and you love the idea of interacting with patients and changing their lives for the better on a daily basis. All the signs seem to be pointing you toward nursing as your new career, but spending all day in a hectic hospital or under the fluorescent lights of a clinic arent appealing to you.

Luckily there are plenty of options for healthcare workers who dont enjoy traditional medical environments. Nurses have the flexibility to use their talents in a work environment that not only benefits patients, but also works well with their own personality, lifestyle and schedule commitments.

One nursing option to consider is home health nursing. Find out if this rewarding healthcare career is the right option for you as we break down everything you need to know about becoming a home health nurse.

Home Health Nurse Job Certification

Nurses must first earn a minimum of an associates degree in nursing before qualifying for certification. Some home health nurses choose to earn a bachelors or masters degree in nursing to pursue positions providing in home care. The programs can last from 2 to 4 years unless students choose a program that offers accelerated or advanced courses in nursing.

Students can expect to take courses in liberal arts and behavioral sciences that may include Chemistry, Anatomy, Psychology, Microbiology, and Physiology.

Home health nurses can gain certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Nurses Association . There are many other certifying bodies that nurses can choose from to gain their credentials. It is always a good idea to gain certification to earn additional credentials that increase job marketability.

Possible areas of certification that nurses choose to purse include Life Care Planning and Geriatric Care. Students should contact the schools prior to enrolling to determine the possible certifying bodies that are available and the certification areas in which they offer.

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Can I Become A Pediatric Home Health Nurse At Phoenix Home Care & Hospice

Taking on the role of a pediatric home health nurse is an important and meaningful undertaking. If you live in southwest Missouri and are interested in becoming a pediatric home health nurse, visit thePhoenix Home Care and Hospice Career Center, contact us online, or call . If you choose to join Phoenix, you will be in the company of dedicated professionals that provide a wide range of services. We love meeting people who have a passion for home health care, because it is our goal to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients.

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Nursing Home Medical Director: Roles and Issues

Nurses provide medical care in a variety of settings including a patients home. Patients may need home medical care for many different reasons. In some cases, a patient may still require on-going care, but not enough monitoring or treatment to require an inpatient hospital stay. Thats where a home health nurse can come in.

Home health nursing responsibilities

Home health nurses provide medical care and treatment to patients in their home. The type of responsibilities a nurse may have will vary widely. Nurses may meet with patients shortly after they are discharged from the hospital. They may perform an assessment, measure vital signs and make sure the patient understands how to take their medication.

Nurses working in home health may also provide treatment, such as wound care, dressing changes, administer IV medication and change catheters. In addition, home health nurses may assess the patients home environment to determine if changes or accommodations are needed due to the patients medical needs.

All ages of patients with various types of conditions may require home health nursing. Patients may have chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure or cystic fibrosis, which requires home health care. In other cases, acute illness or injury may create a need for temporary home health nursing.

The path to home health nursing

Strengths needed to work in home health

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What Is A Home Health Nurse

A home health nurse is one who provides care for patients in their homes. They work with patients of all ages and who have all types of illnesses, including chronic conditions like congestive heart disease or diabetes and acute infections or injuries. They also assist patients who are recovering from surgery or other medical procedures.

Whatdo home health nurses do? They provide a wide range of treatments and servicessuch as monitoring and documenting vital signs, administering medication,caring for wounds, and changing dressings and catheters to name just a fewactivities.

Finding Home Care Jobs

As mentioned above, home care nursing jobs are available through home health agencies, hospice organizations, retirement communities, and insurance companies. In addition, some government agencies hire public health nurses to visit vulnerable patient populations in their homes to help improve access to care.

Employers may prefer to hire nurses who have some previous nursing experience. In addition, a CPR certification is often required, along with a drivers license and access to dependable transportation.

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Home Health Nurse Salary

As with most areas of nursing, home health nurses can receive a promising nursing salary for the services that they provide their patients. The average annual salary for a home health nurse is $49,000. Considering the minimum education requirement to become a home health nurse is an associates degree in nursing, this is a pretty substantial salary.

Many home health nurses earn an ever higher wages by working in hospitals and in the homes of patients. Some may even provide home nursing care as independent individuals and not work for a particular hospital or organization.

Home health nurses have more freedom than other nursing professionals do. They have the freedom to set their own hours since they work directly with patients and their families. Independent home health nursing professionals can even set their own wages for their services. It is possible to be the boss and make a great deal of decisions about the patients care based on the needs of the patient.

Make A Difference For Patients Every Day

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Theres no doubt that being a home health nurse is a fulfilling career outside of the traditional healthcare setting. As a home health nurse, you could go to work each day knowing youll make a difference in your patients lives.

If youre interested in becoming a home health nurse, you need to get educated first. Fortunately, you have a few viable optionsboth LPNs and RNs can work in a home health role. If youd like to learn more about the educational tiers of nursing and how they align with your career ambitions, check out our article, A Beginners Guide to Understanding the Levels of Nursing.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.**

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The Responsibilities Of A Home Care Nurse Are Very Important

Home care nurses provide personal care for patients who are receiving care in their homes. These patients may be recovering from surgery or they could be suffering with chronic diseases or other health ailments and disabilities and prefer to stay in their homes instead of relocating to a long term care facility. These nurses offer individualized care and home care nurse responsibilities vary depending on the patient they are taking care of.

What Are The Educational Requirements For A Home Health Nurse

  • Registered nurses must complete an accredited nursing program and obtain either an associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science degree . They must also pass the NCLEX exam for licensure.
  • Licensed Vocational Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses must also complete an accredited nursing program and test for licensure. LVNs are skilled in performing task-based nursing care, which is a large part of home health care.
  • Certified Nurse Assistants are unlicensed staff who perform task-based care, excluding medication administration. Certain nurse assistants can obtain certification.

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Duties & Responsibilities Of A Home Nurse

Having a home nurse care for an ailing family member is not uncommon. Hiring a competent home nurse allows patients to stay in familiar surroundings and ensures they are not mistreated in a nursing facility. Having a home nurse also allows terminally ill patients to spend their sunset years with dignity, outside a hospital setting. The patient’s primary physician can recommend a qualified home nurse. The home nurse provides services to assist the doctor’s care on a daily basis.

Home Health Nurse Salary And Benefits

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , registered nurses earn a median annual income of $75,330. In some instances, a licensed practical or vocational nurse might also be able to work as a home health nurse. These positions earn a median salary of $48,820 per year, according to the BLS.

Due to the specialized nature of the position, home health nurses might make more than the average, along with additional benefits such as overtime pay, health insurance, training programs, flexible schedules, paid time off, and a retirement savings plan.

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Whats It Like Being A Home Health Nurse

Being able to see the patient in their own home is one of the best and worst aspects of home health, Pourron says. Its much different than working in a more familiar, predictable setting like a hospital or other medical facility.

Though home health nurses still care for multiple patients, they only visit one at a time, giving them the opportunity to get to know their patients and their families on a more personal level. This can foster connections between nurses and patients that may not have developed in a busy hospital, making home health a rewarding career choice.

Being a home health nurse has also given Pourron a new perspective on her patients that goes beyond the data in their official medical records. I realized that sometimes patients didnt take their medication simply because they were unable to afford it. This new insight into noncompliant patients has made Pourron more compassionate and understanding as she seeks creative ways to help them meet their health goals.

Of course, there are downsides to working with patients in their homes. You are often meeting patients and families who dont want you there, Pourron says. They want to live their life independently, and as the nurse, you can be seen as an interruption or nuisance. She also notes that some home environments are more welcoming than others.

How Are Community Health Nurses Responding To The Covid

Community health nurses have been instrumental in identifying the spread of coronavirus in their communities. They launch robust testing and contract tracing programs to screen individuals, implement quarantines and reduce transmission rates. They work closely with hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities to boost surge capacities and roll out emergency protocols. Public health nurses advise employers on best practices for keeping their businesses open while maintaining a safe environment for both customers and employees. They distribute educational materials and participate in media interviews to spread awareness and encourage the public to make healthy decisions.

With the development of COVID-19 vaccines, community health nurses have shifted their energies toward vaccine distribution to ensure that their highest-risk populations are prioritized. They coordinate the delivery and administration as well as track and report any adverse reactions.

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What Qualities Make For A Successful Home Health Nurse

RNs need a unique set of characteristics to do well in this unique healthcare career. With no team of medical staff just down the hall, home health nurses need to be confident in their nursing abilitiesand in their roles as patient advocates.

Being a good advocate for your patients means calling the doctor when something isnt going the way it should and monitoring your patients to ensure theyre safe, Pourron says. Having the confidence to perform their duties well and to assert their patients needs to their doctor is one of the best ways home health nurses can serve their patients.

Being compassionate and willing to work with families are also vital qualities of a home health nurse. Communicating with the family about their needs and arranging your visits around their schedule lets them know they are important, Pourron says. She adds that educating patients and their families about their disease and the recovery process is crucial in helping them reach their health goals, so home health nurses should be willing to devise creative teaching strategies!

What Is The Work Environment And Earning Potential Of A Home Health Nurse

Home Health Nurse Job Description: Giving Care to the ...

These nurses typically work for a home health agency that will match them with patients to care for. They can expect to travel to their patients homes and work either on shifts, assisting one patient for several hours at a time or intermittently, traveling to care for several patients in one day. Depending on the employer, many home health nurses are able to choose between more traditional work hours and a flexible schedule, such as working overnights, working four days per week or working some weekends.

Many home health nurses receive a worthwhile salary for all their hard work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2017 median annual salary of $45,220* for licensed practical nurses working in home health. The Association of Health Care Journalists reports that the demand for home health nurses is expected to rise as policymakers search for more affordable alternatives to long-term hospital care.

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