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Home Health Nurse Out of Nursing School?

Nurses   (135 Views 3 Comments)
by Crazycatlady94 Crazycatlady94 (New) New Student

Crazycatlady94 specializes in Nursing student.

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I am in my 5th year of nursing school graduating in May and from what I’ve seen in the hospital, I haven’t really liked it. I originally thought I’d love the hospital which is why I got into nursing. However, over the past 5 years I’ve discovered it isn’t for me. I don’t think my personality/work type is fit for it. Nor do I feel like I would be very passionate even starting out in a med/surg unit, I could only imagine how that would reflect on my patients. I like the idea of a community setting while building some skills, which is why I want to start out doing home health nursing. I also like the idea of individualized care and spending time with my patients. I’ve done my research, I know I would lose skills, I picked a med-surg unit reluctantly for my mentorship to gain skills before graduation. I figure if I really hated home health nursing I would do something “behind the scenes” like insurance, but don’t reasonably see I would want to be in the hospital. I don’t want to “stick it out” in a med-surg job that I know would not be for me, even if it were for a year or two. What are your thought on this? Would a home health agency hire a new grad? Any advice on getting hired as a home health nurse out or nursing school?

Edited by Crazycatlady94
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ivyleaf has 12 years experience and specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry.

330 Posts; 9,242 Profile Views

I would suggest getting a year of med/surg now. The longer you wait to try it (if you try it), the harder it will be to give up your more flexible schedule/etc, and you won't do it. It does open up a lot of doors. This is from a nurse who started in psych and regrets not doing med/surg earlier for the experience. After having a m-f 9-5 outpatient job, the idea of med surg is much less appealing. But, this is me and may not be you.

Some home health agencies do hire new grads, but I would be sure they offer a thorough orientation. As a home health nurse, you dont have anyone to cast a 2nd set of eyes on the patient, no doctor to see the patient; it's all you and your judgment/experience. Which, as a new grad, is probably going to be somewhat lacking (no offense, this is a generalization). 

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1,658 Posts; 17,417 Profile Views

It isn't really a question of losing skills.  As a new grad what you will have is a license to start developing skills.

Home health is field in which the nurse needs the skills and judgement to act independently with limited guidance or supervision.  You have no peers around to bounce things off, no resource nurse....

Even with a proper residency or orientation program, the home health nurse will see a fraction of the diversity that a med surg nurse would see.

I help make health care decisions for a family member who will likely need home health nursing soon.  If they send a new grad off a few months of orientation, I will request a more experienced nurse, or switch agencies, which will be easy in NYC.

But, not all families feel that way, and not all patients have educated advocates.  I am sure there are home health agencies that hire new grads.  And LTCs that put new grads in charge, etc...

Maybe I have this wrong, and there are top notch responsible agencies who care about more than money who have figured out some way to responsibly put novice nurses in this position.  If so, hope you find that agency.

Whichever way you go, best of luck.


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