Home healthcare nurses are registered nurses who work with patients in their homes on either a long-term or temporary basis. Some of their responsibilities might include rehabilitating patients with serious and complex injuries, providing daily care for those with mental and/or physical disabilities, managing a patient’s medication schedule, educating patients on their medical condition and training family members how to care for elderly patients. Home health care nurses work independently and for home health care agencies. Many patients and their families prefer the services of a home health care nurse for long-term illness or injury because a hospital setting lacks the comfort and familiarity of home.
Home healthcare nurses should not be confused with home care aides, who help disabled and otherwise impaired individuals with less complex physical tasks like bathing, grooming and housework, although some home healthcare nurses perform these services as well as providing nursing care. All home healthcare nurses must be licensed as registered nurses (RNs) after completion of a diploma program or obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Certification in geriatric, pediatric or hospice nursing may be required or strongly preferred for certain home healthcare nurse positions, depending on the population group for which you provide nursing services. CPR and Basic Life Support (BLS) certification are also highly sought after.
The average yearly salary for a home care nurse is $66,286, according to a salary calculator provided by online job site CareerBuilder.com. The average yearly salary is listed as $54,706 for registered nurses in home health care, according to online compensation site Payscale.com. You can anticipate a salary somewhere in that vicinity. Job opportunities in home healthcare nursing are projected to be excellent. In fact, the industry of home health care services is projected to grow 33 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is higher projected job growth than hospital or nursing home industries.