New Grad RN wanting to be a Hospice Nurse-Advice?

  1. 0
    I'm a new grad and know for sure I want to be a hospice nurse. Everywhere I apply (online, that is) all the hospice jobs require 1-2 years of acute care experience. So I start looking/applying for jobs at the hospitals and they too only hire nurses with 1-2 years of acute care experience. Not too sure what to do, and thinking now I just want any J-O-B. I currently live in Colorado, but willing/able to relocate. Should I volunteer at a hospice center and is that even possible? Should I just get any RN job (and where are they if that's the case)? Can anyone help with networking possibilities on here? Advice would be sooo appreciated :heartbeat Thank you!!!!

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 1
    Quote from jacq929
    I'm a new grad and know for sure I want to be a hospice nurse. Everywhere I apply (online, that is) all the hospice jobs require 1-2 years of acute care experience. So I start looking/applying for jobs at the hospitals and they too only hire nurses with 1-2 years of acute care experience. Not too sure what to do, and thinking now I just want any J-O-B. I currently live in Colorado, but willing/able to relocate. Should I volunteer at a hospice center and is that even possible? Should I just get any RN job (and where are they if that's the case)? Can anyone help with networking possibilities on here? Advice would be sooo appreciated :heartbeat Thank you!!!!
    I live in northeast Tennessee and the local hospital is looking for RNs. If you vo to www.msha.com you can see the jobs.
    jacq929 likes this.
  4. 2
    Apply for all those jobs that say 1-2 years, and apply at assisted livings and nursing homes. You really need that solid 1-2 years of acute care or SNF experience when working hospice because of the autonomy. Some new nurses have been hired by hospices on this site, but I believe that has primarily been for inpatient hospice centers. Right now, focus on getting any job, any where, but preferably a med/surg/ICU in the hospital, or a SNF. My hospice really likes nurses from SNFs because they are great at working with SNF staff, but also because we know they are used to HARD work. You may want to put out feelers for areas needing more nurses. One place to start would even be a travel agency. They will not hire you without some experience, but you may find a recruiter willing to let you know where the highest nursing demands are in the country if they think you might be interested in traveling down the road. I believe where I live (northern Utah) there are a lot of SNF jobs even for new grads, but it is tough to get into hospitals.
    jacq929 and tewdles like this.
  5. 2
    I had 6 mos of nursing experience when I was hired to work as a hospice RN. I spent 1 mo shadowing the case managers and assisting when possible. Fortunately I had a supervisor who was just a phone call away so I never felt like I was all alone. I've been working on call for 2 mos now and love it. Once your learn which meds to administer to control sxs and master the art of changing a foley, you're good to go. Hospice is more about educating the family regarding pt care and how to handle the stress of caring for the pt. I had no prior experience in changing foleys before I started hospice, but let me just say, it's much easier than starting an IV any day.
    Endoflifecare and jacq929 like this.
  6. 2
    Field hospice nursing is not a suitable place for a new grad RN. There is too much dependence upon the professionals' assessment skills, communication skills, teaching skills, and critical thought processes to expect that a new grad would generally be successful.

    Field hospice nursing is rarely about just changing a foley or starting an IV, or picking a medication from a list.
    Howtobebrave and tsconard like this.
  7. 2
    Quote from jacq929
    I'm a new grad and know for sure I want to be a hospice nurse. Everywhere I apply (online, that is) all the hospice jobs require 1-2 years of acute care experience. So I start looking/applying for jobs at the hospitals and they too only hire nurses with 1-2 years of acute care experience. Not too sure what to do, and thinking now I just want any J-O-B. I currently live in Colorado, but willing/able to relocate. Should I volunteer at a hospice center and is that even possible? Should I just get any RN job (and where are they if that's the case)? Can anyone help with networking possibilities on here? Advice would be sooo appreciated :heartbeat Thank you!!!!

    I'm a Hospice RN/Case Manager in TN with 1 year hospice experience....and I only had one year med surg experience when I applied for the hospice job. I would advise you as a new grad to apply for any and all jobs that are willing to hire you....but for the benefit of career success, you need at least 1 year of med surg because that's like the foundation of your nursing career....that's where you are going to learn EVERYTHING, things that you will carry with you as a nurse, no matter what specialty you choose eventually.
    jacq929 and tewdles like this.
  8. 0
    thanks for the reply's. it was all nice to read and reassuring
  9. 0
    I am an LPN for 13 years and have worked LTC, rehab, Huntington's pts, and assisted living. This past year started with at home and hospital hospice. I have never felt so satisfied with work as I do with hospice.
    I know it maybe hard for new nurses ,you would think someone would give a break !
    Take any job and absorb all that you can . But yes Hospice is by far the most gratifying job in the nursing field if you have a heart ! Don't ever stop caring (as many nurses do ) and you will always love your job ! Best of Luck !!!
  10. 1
    I began as a hospice case manager when I had 1 year LTC experience (only 1 year as an RN). I had a great team and they were very supportive, but it took me several months to reach the comfort level that I am at now. Hospice is sort of a different breed, since you are so autonomous. Your patients usually only see a MD or NP for face-to-face visits every few months. However, their condition can change rapidly, within hours. You need to be able to recognize the current situation and then predict what will be happening in the future. There is A LOT of teaching, especially with home patients who have family members caring for them. Also, the meds may be more streamlined, but the dosing is generally higher for hospice and you need to have a very good grasp on the multiple uses for certain meds and which med to use in which situation. Also, you have to be able to think on your feet and figure it out by yourself if you need to. I have had situations where I have gone to see a patient and they had respiratory distress, severe secretions, severe pain and were very restless. It can be quite overwhelming for an experienced nurse, much less a new grad.

    I dont want to discourage you, because it is SO WORTH IT, I love hospice. But be sure to get with a company that has a strong team of management to train you and support you, doctors who will be patient while you figure it out, and be prepared to be independent. Also, it is a very emotional job- you need to have strong people skills and be good at supporting families.

    Good luck!! Hope you find a great job!
    tewdles likes this.
  11. 0
    Whatever you do - DO NOT accept a Case Management position as a new RN! Go to a hospital and get at least 6 months experience - then, apply to your local Hospice. In Pt facilities are wonderful to work in. They usually have a low Pt/Nurse ratio. This is not to say it's not stressfull, but it is usually a better environment than a hospital or a nursing home.

    In the meantime, study up on hospice nursing as a specialty. You will be amazed at how much there is to know. If you are a compassionate nurse, you probably already know a lot about hospice - without even realizing it!

    Good luck!


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top