I have worked home care for 18 years. I've been a case manager and a supervisor, but have been working as a prn visit nurse for the last 3 years. I like having the flexibility of making my own schedule. I am fortunate that I don't work for a huge company so I do get to see some of the same patients and they get to know me. I do have to do OASIS, though, and I don't get paid as much as Dutchgirl, but it's worth it right now to be able to set my schedule. I generally work 4 days every week. I don't have to take any call during the week or any primary call on weekends. I have to take second call (be available for visits basically) for 2 holidays per year. It's not a big deal. I do remember when I was a case manager, the paperwork was difficult to keep up with and is unrealistic to think you can get it all done at work and not have to do any at home. I don't need benefits right now so it's okay as far as that goes. The down side to prn home care for me is 1)when the agency is slow, I don't work as much and it's not like I don't "need" to work, but fortunately that doesn't happen very often. 2)sometimes I miss being a "regular" employee with benefits, a regular paycheck, etc 3)sometimes I miss not being a case manager, and sometimes it's hard walking in on a new patient, not knowing what their normals have been. But for me, where I'm at now with my life and my family, this is working out well. I think a lot of it has to do with the agency you work for, your supervisors, etc. I also find that if you are flexible with them, they will also be flexible with you.
I worked for 2 agencies at one time. One was actually an agency (Favorite Nurses) and I worked through them via another home health company. It was too hard for me to plan when I would be available for both companies, so I ended up dropping that gig. I do think if you have to have a certain amount of money coming in, to really get some feedback from nurses who work in the agency you may be considering, to see if the hours are there. And again, I think if you are flexible and available for them, as far as how many visits you'll do, or if you volunteer to work extra or some weekends visits, or if you don't really mind driving too much, you will get all the visits you need. I hope that helps you answer some of your questions, Nascar nurse. Good luck in your decision.
Dutchgirl, I remember reading some of your previous posts and how distressed you were. Glad to hear you've found something that fits for you and is less stressful.