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Home Health as First Nursing Job?

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Hi there! I'd like to know if anyone has gone into Home Health as their first nursing job? If so, what were some pros and cons about it? Did you end up staying or leaving for another specialty and if you did leave, did your home health experience help?

I'd love to know everyone's thoughts! Thank you 🙂

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

I don't recommend it. You are expected to make independent judgments that a new grad doesn't have the experience to make. And, a HH company that would hire a new grad would let said new grad burn if the đź’© hits the fan

Edited by Hoosier_RN

Elfriede

Specializes in ambulant care. Has 40 years experience.

Hhhhmmmmm.......

Better you got a few years of experience first.

In HH you´ll stand alone in a situation...

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The chances of finding an agency employer that will provide the amount and quality of immersive education (otherwise known as 'hand-holding') that one would require is close to nil. Better to get that solid year or two of experience first.

Vickie_Luu-RN, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

I'm probably super late adding to this topic but I wanted to share my experience so that someone doesn't have to go through what I did. I was offered a position in home health weeks after I passed my NCLEX( meaning I had no experience as an RN). I worked predominantly in an office where I would barely see actual patients. I barely got clinical experience because my "preceptor" would always do everything. I was able to catch on pretty quickly with the assessment, teaching, case management and coordination of care aspect of the job but was still lacking in the clinical portion. Nothing too crazy or exciting happens( skills were like unicorns). Don't get me wrong, I was paid extremely well because I could talk to insurances and doctors but as time went on, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do. I found myself being asked things that I've never actually done or experienced and suddenly I was in charge of supervising nurses that have worked longer than I've been alive.  I ended up leaving about a year into it but before I did, I was applying for other jobs and it was extremely difficult because I lacked that experience that hospitals are looking for. I was kind of in a weird place where I'm technically not a new grad anymore but I don't have the experience to not be considered as a new grad. It kind of just made me feel like I had wasted a year of my nursing career because I wasn't in a position to grow into an experienced nurse. I definitely recommend home care if you want a really flexible schedule I.e. kids, family, need to be home at specific times, but as a new grad get out there. Learn and see as much as possible. I was fortunate enough to find positions where I can now get that experience. 

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

2 hours ago, Vickie_Luu-RN said:

I'm probably super late adding to this topic but I wanted to share my experience so that someone doesn't have to go through what I did. I was offered a position in home health weeks after I passed my NCLEX( meaning I had no experience as an RN). I worked predominantly in an office where I would barely see actual patients. I barely got clinical experience because my "preceptor" would always do everything. I was able to catch on pretty quickly with the assessment, teaching, case management and coordination of care aspect of the job but was still lacking in the clinical portion. Nothing too crazy or exciting happens( skills were like unicorns). Don't get me wrong, I was paid extremely well because I could talk to insurances and doctors but as time went on, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do. I found myself being asked things that I've never actually experienced and suddenly I was in charge of supervising nurses that have worked longer than I've been alive.  I ended up leaving about a year into it but before I did, I was applying for other jobs and it was extremely difficult because I lacked that experience that hospitals are looking for. I was kind of in a weird place where I'm technically not a new grad anymore but I don't have the experience to not be considered as a new grad. It kind of just made me feel like I had wasted a year of my nursing career because I wasn't in a position to grow into an experienced nurse. I definitely recommend home care if you want a really flexible schedule I.e. kids, family, need to be home at specific times, but as a new grad get out there. Learn and see as much as possible. I was fortunate enough to find positions where I can now get that experience. 

Thanks for sharing that, Vickie Luu. A couple of points you made track with my experiences. I left bedside nursing for a while and was really surprised that even experienced nurses can have issues similar to the new grad who can be ineligible for intensive orientation if they started in a non-acute care setting first. Even 6 months away from that environment was considered to be no longer "recent".

Second, as far as clinical skills go, I've rarely started a new job where I didn't need to learn some new ones, but there is a pace and stress level you need to get used to, which was more challenging for me than the actual clinical skills themselves.

l'm glad you were able to get the job that fills in those gaps and I'm certain the skills you mentioned you did learn in the Home Health job will serve you well at some point in the future.

I think it depends on how many colleagues you can lean on. If you are really all alone....eeeeks! But if you have a good supportive team who you can call/text and you get to shadow for a few weeks (not days), then I'd say go for it.