I'd like to become a Hospice Nurse.

  1. I'm an ICU nurse of many years and, for a variety of reasons, have recently been looking for a new job. I saw an ad in the local paper for an RN Case Manager at a local Hospice agency and decided to investigate. The more I learned about what a Hospice nurse does, the more I realized that is what I would like to do. I interviewed for the job and was getting very excited about the position. Today the Hospice agency called and told me that, while I was a strong candidate, the job went to someone who is a Nurse Practitioner.
    My question is, is there anything particular that employers look for when hiring a Hospice nurse? Is there something I should be doing now to make me a better candidate when another position opens up? Are there many advanced practice nurses working in hospice?
    I believe that I have what it takes to be a good hospice nurse. Now that I've "discovered" the specialty, I plan to hang in there until I find a position. After working in the ICU, it feels like the right direction for me to go.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Mandee
    Hi! I used to be an ICU nurse and have worked in hospice for the last several years and love it! There are advance practice nurses in hospice but there are a lot more who are not NPs. We look for nurses who are compassionate, have good rounded medical knowledge, good judgement, great people skills and nurses who believe in the hospice philosophy(ie: comfort care at the end of life) I think it has to be a passion and I wish you the best!

    Mandee

    Quote from CarpeDiem2004
    I'm an ICU nurse of many years and, for a variety of reasons, have recently been looking for a new job. I saw an ad in the local paper for an RN Case Manager at a local Hospice agency and decided to investigate. The more I learned about what a Hospice nurse does, the more I realized that is what I would like to do. I interviewed for the job and was getting very excited about the position. Today the Hospice agency called and told me that, while I was a strong candidate, the job went to someone who is a Nurse Practitioner.
    My question is, is there anything particular that employers look for when hiring a Hospice nurse? Is there something I should be doing now to make me a better candidate when another position opens up? Are there many advanced practice nurses working in hospice?
    I believe that I have what it takes to be a good hospice nurse. Now that I've "discovered" the specialty, I plan to hang in there until I find a position. After working in the ICU, it feels like the right direction for me to go.
  4. by   aimeee
    Hang in there and keep applying! We look for evidence of critical thinking abilities, superior assessment skills, and organizational and time management skills as well as compassion, an attitude of acceptance, and good verbal and written communication skills.
  5. by   stbernardclub
    Alot of Hospice companies would like to see you have more experience in hospice itself and the paperwork, but, with your icu experience you should be able to get into a job easily. Keep trying, just make sure of all the locations you have to travel to and be sure your ok with that. They usually try to maintain you in one county , because they do have to pay your travel, but, I have seen it where maybe one position covers a very large area, especially if in the country. Also remember, if a patient passes away, you have to go and call the death. And if your on call, that can be in any of the locations the hospice covers. All in all, its still better than the stress in a ICU !
    Quote from CarpeDiem2004
    I'm an ICU nurse of many years and, for a variety of reasons, have recently been looking for a new job. I saw an ad in the local paper for an RN Case Manager at a local Hospice agency and decided to investigate. The more I learned about what a Hospice nurse does, the more I realized that is what I would like to do. I interviewed for the job and was getting very excited about the position. Today the Hospice agency called and told me that, while I was a strong candidate, the job went to someone who is a Nurse Practitioner.
    My question is, is there anything particular that employers look for when hiring a Hospice nurse? Is there something I should be doing now to make me a better candidate when another position opens up? Are there many advanced practice nurses working in hospice?
    I believe that I have what it takes to be a good hospice nurse. Now that I've "discovered" the specialty, I plan to hang in there until I find a position. After working in the ICU, it feels like the right direction for me to go.
  6. by   dsmcar
    Quote from aimeee
    Hang in there and keep applying! We look for evidence of critical thinking abilities, superior assessment skills, and organizational and time management skills as well as compassion, an attitude of acceptance, and good verbal and written communication skills.

    When I became a RN 4 years ago, my sister in law gave me that quote on a very beautiful 8x10 picture. I have treasured it ever since. Hospice is where I originally wanted to go when I became a RN, but I really believed I needed a good foundation first. I am moving to the Macon Georgia area in July of 2005 and will be seeking a position in visiting nursing or hospice. This is really my passion and after reading your post, I know it was meant to be. Thanks again. DSMCAR of Michigan
  7. by   aimeee
    Quote from dsmcar
    When I became a RN 4 years ago, my sister in law gave me that quote on a very beautiful 8x10 picture. I have treasured it ever since. Hospice is where I originally wanted to go when I became a RN, but I really believed I needed a good foundation first. I am moving to the Macon Georgia area in July of 2005 and will be seeking a position in visiting nursing or hospice. This is really my passion and after reading your post, I know it was meant to be. Thanks again. DSMCAR of Michigan
    Terrific! Good luck to you in finding the right fit for you!
  8. by   Severina
    Quote from dsmcar
    When I became a RN 4 years ago, my sister in law gave me that quote on a very beautiful 8x10 picture. I have treasured it ever since. Hospice is where I originally wanted to go when I became a RN, but I really believed I needed a good foundation first. I am moving to the Macon Georgia area in July of 2005 and will be seeking a position in visiting nursing or hospice. This is really my passion and after reading your post, I know it was meant to be. Thanks again. DSMCAR of Michigan
    I'm in Michigan, too. Ann Arbor. Are you nearby?
  9. by   dsmcar
    Quote from dsmcar
    When I became a RN 4 years ago, my sister in law gave me that quote on a very beautiful 8x10 picture. I have treasured it ever since. Hospice is where I originally wanted to go when I became a RN, but I really believed I needed a good foundation first. I am moving to the Macon Georgia area in July of 2005 and will be seeking a position in visiting nursing or hospice. This is really my passion and after reading your post, I know it was meant to be. Thanks again. DSMCAR of Michigan
    Thanks for the encouragement. Can you tell me how I might prepare and what to expect for an interview in this position? Since I became an RN I have worked in one place only. I love my Med/Surg job and hate to leave. Relocation can be a wonderful experience, but very scary for a new RN to be starting again. Thanks for your input.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I think hospice care is wonderful; my own father utilized it and I had a great respect for my Dad's hospice nurse, who was very supportive to me as well as my dying father.

    Am currently investigating opportunities for hospice nursing in my area as I feel it is a good 'fit' for me as well. Some of my most rewarding times in ICU have been helping a patient and family through their last days.
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 10, '05
  11. by   zacsmimi
    For the past year I have worked in a LTC that recently began to work with Hospice. It was so wonderful to see these patients getting one on one, and the kind of time and attention that we just didnt have to give. At the DON's request, I handled the majority of referrals for the house for while, until management decided they wanted a committee to select them - (which never did materalize). Last week I called the local hospital with a suggestion that one of our patients who had been transferred there who was heartbroken with his prognosis, and was alone and failing MIGHT make a good Hospice referral for them. I told my supervisor about it and she said "Good for you!!".
    The next day my adminsistrator called me in and told me that "out in the community" there was a rumor that we are "giving up" on our patients, putting them on Hospice and killing them off with Morphine. They then fired me, because I had called the hospital with my suggestion. My supervisor sat there and denied saying that to me.

    I dont even know how to feel. But it isnt good. I was looking out for the patient! It seems to me that I was sacrificed to answer the "rumor" ? Any other takes?
  12. by   aimeee
    That's pretty sad and reflective of how much education there is to do about what good end of life care means. I really can't see how they could fire you for making a suggestion about a referral. Perhaps though, instead of a door closing, its really a door opening for you, freeing you to apply at your local hospice!
  13. by   webblarsk
    Quote from zacsmimi
    For the past year I have worked in a LTC that recently began to work with Hospice. It was so wonderful to see these patients getting one on one, and the kind of time and attention that we just didnt have to give. At the DON's request, I handled the majority of referrals for the house for while, until management decided they wanted a committee to select them - (which never did materalize). Last week I called the local hospital with a suggestion that one of our patients who had been transferred there who was heartbroken with his prognosis, and was alone and failing MIGHT make a good Hospice referral for them. I told my supervisor about it and she said "Good for you!!".
    The next day my adminsistrator called me in and told me that "out in the community" there was a rumor that we are "giving up" on our patients, putting them on Hospice and killing them off with Morphine. They then fired me, because I had called the hospital with my suggestion. My supervisor sat there and denied saying that to me.

    I dont even know how to feel. But it isnt good. I was looking out for the patient! It seems to me that I was sacrificed to answer the "rumor" ? Any other takes?
    Shame on them! But you shouldn't feel bad for looking out for your residents and doing what is best for them! If only there were more people out their like you that understands the concept of hospice and what it's really about! So sorry. But like Aimee said Perhaps there is a job opportunity for you at a local hospice!
  14. by   jerseyRN
    I dont even know how to feel. But it isnt good. I was looking out for the patient! It seems to me that I was sacrificed to answer the "rumor" ? Any other takes?[/QUOTE]

    Sounds like you were working for a very unenlightened facility that put its "reputation" ahead of its patients. I bet the local hospice would hire you in a heartbeat!

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