I am flattered you think me an expert! I am just a frequent poster here
Everyone who posts here gives good advice, trust me!!
I am/was? a seasoned ICU nurse before doing HH, so I can tell you firsthand that theory is bull...oney!
ICU is far dirtier and much harder physical labor than you will ever do in home health!!! OK roaches for me are a serious issue, but I don't have to deal w it every dayI work.
As for the money, Florida is notorius for lousy pay for HH nurses! I have heard this from many people. Considering what I have heard $24 is not too bad for Florida for a revisit rate. And if your territory is not too far spread, you may be able to get your actual visits done 5-6 visits in 6 hours, and then the rest of the time for paperwork.
Speaking of the paperwork, it is no worse than the ICU, what with neuro check lists, restraint checklists, code cart checklists, etc.. OK, it's more, and it is rough in the begining. But, it is doable.
The KEY, IMHO, to getting the paperwork down is that you have to understand 2 things. One, the process of the paperwork in your agency. In other words, where does the form go after you are done with it, and what is that person needing to be on the form. If you do not do the paperwork right the first time, you will be harrassed to no end, and it will make you crazy. Two, you need to learn the insurances. Not each and every HMO per say but you must know what Medicare covers, what Medicaid covers, and what is different about HMO's. Medicare is the real stickler. But, if you understand what criteria are needed for Medicare reimbursement, and you are sure to address it in your documentation, then you won't have a problem. But it takes time to learn.
In my opinion, critical care nurses make the best HH nurses, because you are used to having to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances. You know how to prioritize. So, when you are at a pt home on the weekend, and they used to take Lasix 40 OD prior to admission, and they were d/c home w no lasix on d/c instructions, and you see they have edema and have crackles, and the doc does not answer the pages, you can feel pretty comfortable telling them to continue the lasix until they can reach the doc on Moday am and instruct them in s&s of CHF and when to call 911. This is not as easy for everyone to do as you would think, but this is the kind of decision making you are used to and you will be fine!! One of my supervisors said I practice "Nursing on the edge." I like that.
You also mention you get mileage reimbursement, even with per visit rates? That's pretty generous, many agencies who pay per visit don't reimburse for mileage. Will you be case managing? If so, negotiate for an hourly salary, otherwise, that time spent on calls and coordinating things will be on the house, and that is being used as far as I am concerned.
Good luck to you!!!