About to embark on a Career in Hospice- Need Advice


  • Specializes in ion Control, Management, Business Develo. Has 6 years experience.


I am a new member from NY/NJ. I was wondering if there are any Hospice Home Care Nurses out there.

I found my passion with Home Care and I was recently offered a position in Hospice Home Care with a large company. The role seemed very challenging, but exciting as I love treating patients at home. However, I had questions as to the differences between an Acute Home Care visit and a Hospice Home Care visit. Can anyone offer some assistance? Thank you. :smiletea:


594 Posts

Specializes in geriatric, hospice, med/surg. Has 26 years experience.

Oh, you're gonna love hospice home care visits! First of all, you have a very laid back day compared to regular home health care visits. I used to have 6 to 7 visits per day plus driving time plus paperwork time usually done at home on my own time, per se. That sucked! With hospice care, you usually have about one to a bit over an hour per patient! Paperwork is easier, a little bit less and usually have enough time in the week to get it done in the hospice office environment. I loved hospice and regret getting out of it. It was my fav realm of nursing in the twenty years I've nursed.

I wish you luck. My only downfall w/hospice nursing was getting too emotionally close to the pt/families I encountered. It was a very spiritual thing for me. GOod luck!

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Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.


Tweety, BSN, RN

32,725 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Good luck to you. Welcome to Allnurses!

AtlantaRN, RN

763 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Hospice, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

its all about symptom control...not trying to cure the disease now, just trying to live well til the end. Yes, more laid back than home health. More profitable to get paid hourly, than by the visit. I initially had trouble with all the whacked family dynamics, but got some books Kubler-Ross and others, and that really helped (I have a critical care background). I had to realize that everyone has different family dynamics and when you add life limiting illness to the mix, everything gets kicked up a notch. I had a nursing instructor that would say "MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY LIVE," which to me means, everyone has a baseline "normal", and that is where they are comfortable, and I have to adjust. It's better now, i'm not nearly as frustrated (and just went full time with this company).

It's nice to have time with patients and families, you sure don't have it anymore in the hospital setting, that is for SURE!!!



93 Posts

Expect a big learning curving.

Get a few good books. One on symptom control, Kubler-Ross, for sure and one touchie feeling book. If you haven't already, learn to say, "no", and "I don't know," in a calm mature way. "No" for when you are asked to work extra and you are emotionally and physically maxed out. "I don't know but will find out," is self-explanatory. Then read, pray, be open, ask questions and have fun. A good question to ask potential employers is, "What do you do if a nurse needs to leave the field for the rest of the day because they are emotionally spent?" Write that answer down and hold them to it.


2 Articles; 983 Posts

Specializes in ICU, SDU, OR, RR, Ortho, Hospice RN.

You will absolutely love Hospice Nursing.

It is by far the best nursing position I have held. I work as a Case Manager with a case load of 12 patients.

All I can say follow your heart but let me say you will not be disappointed if you choose this field.

It is such a blessing to enable patients have the death they desire. I work in the field so I visit people all over the VA hills and some in NC. I love the freedom that comes with this job. My office view constantly changes.

I have been so blessed by looking after many beautiful people that I still carry memories around in my heart of them.

Hospice Paves the way to Heaven.


18 Posts

As a CNA for Home health care agency, I took care of 2 patients. One was stage 4 CA. The other was Parkinson's. I took the first lady's death quite hard. And the physcologist did have hospice care in additon to my care. Both families were terrific to work with. I shared this with both of them. Hope you like it.

I expect to pass through this world but once;

And any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature,

Let me do it now;

Let me not defer or neglect it,

For I shall not pass this way again.


14 Posts

I wish you well. I've been in hospice nursing for over three years now. It is the most rewarding nursing I've done in 27 years having worked in many different areas of nursing. One thing I would caution you about is "for profit" hospice agencies. I worked for one for a few months, knew I loved hospice but also knew that I could not live with the "profit" focus that led to corporate policies that were not acceptable to me because the patients and families were ill served. Not that the staff were not great- they were. Almost all of the people I worked with at that "for profit" agency have left there now. The non-profit agency I work for now provides me with many opportunities for professional growth. They nurture it. We get free CEUs. Most of the nurses have their CHPN. Rather than being run by a business adminstrator who knows nothing about clincial issues and thinks only in dollars and cents we have an RN director who understands the issues related to patient care.

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