Home Health and the Nursing Shortage

  1. Hi, I am a senior in an RN program and I am doing a paper on current trends in health care. I chose the topic of the nursing shortage(the easy part) but I have to relate it to the community agency that I visited, which was a community nursing agency and I am having a lot of trouble. What I want to know is, has home health nursing been affected by the nursing shortage and if so, in what respect? I will welcome any feedback I can get! Thanks...Jacqui
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    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 485; Likes: 15


  3. by   KP RN
    Hi Jacqui! The nursing shortage has impacted home health, as well as most other areas.
    What I hear from my (very large) home health agency is this:
    A couple years back, the payment system changed to prospective payment system. This can be compared to a DRG. The agency is paid a set rate based on data collected on admission, thus being financially rewarded for making fewer visits. Therefore, agencies need to work SMARTER, harder, and more efficiently to be able to stay in business, much less make a profit.
    Home care agencies have the same troubles attracting and retaining nurses as do hospitals. It is more difficult for them to afford retention or signing bonuses.
    My agency offers us bonuses for each nurse we refer who is actually hired ($2500.00 for me, $2500.00 for the new nurse). They also give us a month of free housecleaning, or a special weekend getaway at a fine hotel for referring a nurse, even if she doesn't sign on or get hired.
    Ask your community health agency what they do to attract new nurses, I'm sure you'll hear an earful!!
    Good luck!!
  4. by   renerian
    Dang KP your in Cleveland. We don't have housekeeping. I would do it for that. I left home care as our service area was 6 counties and my drive time/office time was between 25 to 30 hours per week of course uncompensated. We were still paid per visit. Hard to keep nurses when their hourly wage equates to 9 to 13 per hour.

  5. by   KP RN
    Wow, Renerian!! How frustrating that job must have been!!
    My agency covers a huge geographic area, but there's so many of us employees that we are each assigned to a different sliver, which may include 3-4 different zip codes. I drive 50-60 miles per day TOPS! I usually average 20-25 miles.
    My agency really does try to attract and retain. It certainly isn't easy, but I give 'em credit for giving us decent bonuses, as opposed to stupid crap like coffee mugs and nurse pins!!
    If your job in incontinent products doesn't pan out, Ren, come see me!! By the way, how 'bout our Ohio nurse get together??
  6. by   Flo1216
    Thank you!!! Your reply was very helpful to me. You know, this assignment was due a month ago(couldn't bring myself to do it) and it is only worth like, 1% of my grade but I need it in order to pass.
  7. by   renerian
    Kp it was common for me to put 100 to 200 miles per day on my car. Sometimes under a 100 but the Columbus traffic is horrible. It is not uncommon to take an hour or an hour and a half to drive 20 miles.