Home Health Nursing for Busy Mothers with Lots of Children?!

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Could anyone tell me about home health nursing? I know that it has flexible work hours and often requires quite a lot of driving (at least in my area: Tulsa, OK). I know the population can vary, from geriatrics to mental health and can include some less than savory home visits at times - But that's about all I know!

A little bit about me: I've little work experience, but I'm keeping my license up to date with CEUs, and I consider myself to be a lifetime learner. I love nursing. I haven't worked much because my husband and I have been busy growing our family. I have 4 children aged 7 (almost 8 ) down to nearly 1.5 yrs. I'm due with our fifth, and possibly our last 😔in June.

I want to get back into nursing as quickly as I can, while also maintaining quality time with my family. Nursing is my passion, but my family is my priority. As a new grad, I worked on a stepdown telemetry unit. I liked the challenge of it, and I would say I excelled based on my weekly meetings with my preceptor and manager. However, I left because it was in 2020 (covid) and not being able to find reliable and consistent childcare for my 1 year old at the time was causing loads of tension in my family. The older two were in school so it wasn't so much of an issue with them.

Anyway, I have read on forums that with home health nursing some nurses are able to fit their pts into the hours their kids are at school and to do charting/paperwork after bedtime. Is this true?

What would my prospects be to enter into this branch of nursing with less than a year of bedside experience?

How about starting a new job while I'm in my second trimester of pregnancy? Better to wait until after the baby is born and old enough to go with a caregiver?

I should mention that I worked as a CNA in an assisted living facility for several years before I became a nurse, so I am familiar with the geriatric population and some hopsice.

Thanks so much, looking forward to reading responses😊

BBP42

104 Posts

As a mom who has done home health over the last 5 years, I think that it is possible to see your patients within school hours and I often wrap up my charting after the kids' bedtime to spend time with them. Depends on agency expectations. Where I work, you generally see 6 people a day and schedule them on your own. We get a list of names in the morning, make calls to set times with the patients from around 8-9, then you could schedule people out roughly one per hour and be done by the time the kids are headed home. Depends on the agency, but this could work. My agency did a lot of visits for wound/postop care, where visits took about 40 minutes on average and the charting had to be signed and uploaded by the next morning so later charting was OK. My patients tended to be less than 20 minutes apart. Extensive driving combined with the same productivity expectations would mean needing good backup emergency childcare though, I was fortunate to have a spouse with a schedule that meant he was home after school hours if I couldn't finish my day on time. My agency hires even new graduates and they would consider hiring with less bedside experience because they are part of a large hospital system willing to spend a lot of time and money on training to keep staffing up. A smaller agency would probably not be as willing/able to accept someone with less than a year of experience.

Thank you for your thorough reply, it was massively helpful. My husband and I have discussed this and for once he seems positive about this kind of nursing job for me. We are going to wait until this next baby is big enough to be with a caregiver. So, it will still be a couple of years. Thankfully, my husband also has a flexible schedule and our kids' school has aftercare so we've got that going for us, too. 
Thank you again!