As a home health nurse, you have a rare opportunity to provide individualized, one-on-one care for each of your patients in the privacy and comfort of their own home. You can enjoy the autonomy and freedom of working independently and traveling to see your patients. You will also avoid much of the stress associated with the fast-paced environment of a hospital. As a home health nurse, you can focus on delivering the best in care and developing trusting relationships with your patients and their families.
Within the field of home health travel nursing, there is a range of specialties and patients you may serve. Depending on your assignment and specialty, you may be caring for anyone from a newborn baby to an elderly person in the final stages of life. Home health nurses treat patients who have disabilities or chronic or terminal illnesses. They also care for people who are recovering from injuries or accidents. You may even be helping pregnant women or new mothers. Regardless of whom you serve, you will be able to provide undivided attention and individualized care. Moreover, your patients will be surrounded by the familiarity of home.
Some of your responsibilities as a home health travel nurse may be:
Hospitals, retirement facilities, hospice care, government agencies, and insurance companies all need home health nurses. And home health specialties include but are not limited to pediatrics, gerontology, mental health, public health, and surgical services.
For some home health nursing positions, you only need a basic level of education and certification, while for others, you must have more advanced training. The first level of certification for home health nursing is the licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). In this case, you must earn a certificate or diploma from a technical or community college and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to earn your license.
To become certified at a higher level, as a registered nurse (RN), a common route is to earn an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN). You would then take the NCLEX-RN to earn your registered nurse license. Some nurses choose to continue their education at the masters or doctorate level.
Home health nurse pay varies according to credentials, location, and facility. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for RNs as $70,000 with the highest 10 percent earning more than $104,100 and the lowest 10 percent earning less than $48,690. Other sources put the average home health nurse pay at between $71,926 and $87,262 (salary.com).
Home health services is the fastest growing field as reported by the BLS. The field is expected to grow by 54.0 percent between 2016 and 2026! And nursing, in general, is forecasted to expand by 15 percent. This is due to growth in the aging population and hospitals sending patients home sooner. Home health nursing is an all-around win: it lowers healthcare costs, improves patient satisfaction, and best of all, gives you an opportunity to enjoy the freedom to focus on what you do best – caring for patients!
Are you thinking about travel nursing but still wondering which field is right for you? Explore our top travel nursing specialties to learn more: