How Much Does a Hospice Nurse Make?

  1. Hello everyone, I will have a year experience in acute care in September which is the minimum requirement for 2 Hospice jobs I have recently applied for here in NC.

    Does anyone know what the salary rate for a Hospice nurse is? Especially in NC? I've always wanted to be a Hospice nurse but no one would hire me in NC when I first moved here as a New Grad last year.

    Second, those that do work as a Hospice nurse here, how do you like it?

    My mother had a Hospice nurse when she passed away with cancer and that nurse is the reason why I went to nursing school in the first place. I always will remember her for her kindness and the care she gave to my mother. I want to be that Hospice nurse, it would be my dream job!

    Any info would be much appreciated!
  2. Visit EmilyLucille523 profile page

    About EmilyLucille523

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 202; Likes: 236
    OBGYN Unit; from US
    Specialty: LTC, PCU, Med/Surg, Hospice, OBGYN


  3. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    All depends on your region. I make $20/hr base. Add to this mileage, call, etc. I love being a hospice nurse! Can't imagine ever doing anything else.
  4. by   tewdles
    First, I wish so much goodness in your life and career that you wake amazed at your life everyday!

    Second, I have been a hospice nurse for a nice little spell now and I love it terribly. Because I love it so much I am willing to make not as much as I am worth as a nursing professional.

    What you will make will depend entirely upon the average rates in your region and whether you work for large vs small and profit vs not for profit.
  5. by   Hospicetex
    I have been in a Hospice a year now, not very long but a very eye opening year.

    I make almost ten dollars an hour less then I did at the hospital. I have been a nurse > 15 years. But with call and mileage I manage. I don't do it for the money because there really isn't enough compensation for sleepless nights, worn tires, huge mileage on my car, giving comfort and reassurance to a family, holding someone's hand while they pass, being a part of such an intimate and difficult period in a family's life, and making a difference in the lives of those you touch.

    Hospice is nursing the patient and the family and whether it be scrambling eggs for a hungry patient, bathing a patient, to singing hymns for a dying soul it is something you do because it is right and comforting.

    I don't know if fifty dollars an hour would be enough compensation because this you do because it is a calling...there is never enough compensation to do what we do. I wish you luck in your Hospice career and hope that you love it as much as we do.
    Last edit by Hospicetex on Aug 14, '10 : Reason: spelling
  6. by   BerryHappy
    We can give our salaries, but really that is not representative of what we earn working Hospice. I am in Miami and I just had my first two Hospice (agency) patient's last week. I LOVED it. I make $20/hr and keep detail expense records for IRS. I do Continuous Care 12-hr shifts. I LOVE IT. I also work in a Sub-Acute/LTC facility on weekends caring for sub-acute to Long Termers. I make $22/hr with bene's.

    I am keeping the LTC job because...well, I don't know anymore why I am keeping the LTC job! I thought it was because of the bene's, but the politics, and dealing with management is really wearing me down. I think I would be willing to accept less pay to be a full time Hospice nurse!

    Comforting another soul at their weakest moments is so fulfilling, and so rewarding, nothing I mean NOTHING compares. Not a birth, not a raise, not a promotion, not recognition, NOTHING compares. This probably sounds strange but I do look forward to when my soul re-unites with the souls of those I comforted at their physical body death. What a party that will be! :kiss

    Come and join OUR League, you won't regret it...
  7. by   EmilyLucille523
    You are absolutely right about not having a price for the work and care you give, I get that completely. But it also helps to have a basic idea where I am going to be at financially by changing jobs. I have a husband and 2 children to feed, keep a roof over our heads, and be the only income provider for my family (my husband hasn't been able to find work where we live in almost a year). I also don't want to give them a too high salary figure when they ask me in the interview for my salary requirement, I don't want to scare them off (I have a friend who asked for $60,000/yr minimum with 5 year acute care experience and she never got a call back).

    So yes, I have a strong passion to work in Hospice and to care for my patients the way the Hospice nurse cared for my Mom. "It takes someone special to work in Hospice, it is a calling."...A family member of a patient at the hospital where I work at now told me just this same thing the other day and my heart skipped a beat when she said it because I knew I was one of those special you!

    I hope everything works out in the end. I have the interview on Thursday and I plan to pray on it during these next few days. Thank you all for your info and wonderful words of encouragement. That person was right, each and every one of you are very special, THANK YOU!!!
  8. by   EmilyLucille523
    Had my interview today. It went alright but they have more interviews to do. It is a salaried position but I didn't ask upfront what it was, I wanted them to see that the job itself was more important to me. I think though my lack of acute care experience is going to cost me the job but I was aware of that going into the interview. I told them to remember me if they felt I wasn't "ready" yet. If I do get a second interview, that is when I'll ask how much the salary is. They did say they reimbursed for mileage and also give you some money per month for the use of your cell which I thought that was good.

    I'm praying on it. If I don't get the job now, I will make sure to try again down the road.
  9. by   iluvivt
    God bless all you hospice nurses. I have had to function as a hospice nurse when our terminally ill patients are on PCAs or on Milrinone and it was not easy. They need so much emotional support in addition to the nursing care that it is very draining
  10. by   AtlantaRN
    not enough. midtown atlanta $34/hr with 10 yrs critical care hospital background and 4 yrs hospice. i do an on call position friday-monday.
  11. by   Ginapixi
    we do not get paid enough
    however: the work itself is the reward as long as what they pay you pays the bills;
    then again i had a salaried position and they paid $25 - yet it was expected that you do overtime (basically unpaid) and after a while no matter how much you love your "job" you wear out
    now i make 26 and a bit, get paid OT over 40 hrs plus miles and it seems a lot more fair - then again there are days i do not put all my time on my time sheet, just because the company does not benefit - my patients and the families and i do! Hospice is a calling, not a run in take vitals make sure they have meds and the pain is controlled and head to the next. it involves a lot of hand holding, teaching and gentle care, all that takes time and the "office people" do not quite grasp that.....
  12. by   teach_hospiceRN
    what part of nc are you in? i am in the raleigh/durham/chapelhill area. the triangle has a higher pay scale than some areas. if it is a salaried position like many are, please expect that you will work a minimum of 40 hours and there is a lot of paper work that must be completed and preparing for idgs, on call etc. this may make you per hour rate go down as you put in more than 40 hrs. the pay also depends on the company you work for. home health home infusion home hospice typically make less than a hospital setting anywhere you go. good luck to you.
  13. by   EmilyLucille523
    UPDATE: I did get the Hospice job offer for a little less than $45,000 annual salary plus mileage reimbursement. I ended up taking it because at least I know I can depend on that income versus where I am now I get called off a lot from work due to low census. I am excited about the career change but at the same time scared and hope to be the best compassionate, caring Hospice nurse that I can be. Thank you for all your info! (By the way I live in the Triad area of NC.)
  14. by   LaurenNicoleRN
    i'm a new grad and i live in mississippi. i never thought hospice was something i wanted to do. needless to say i wound up with a hospice position and so far i love it! i get 25/hr and 25 cents to the mile. the pay is great, to me anyway. but the feeling i get from helping my patients to make each day the best that it can be..whether its simply sitting and listening to them talk about days gone by, or telling them about my kids and the funny things they say and do and then watching their faces light up as they think back to the times when their children were knee-high or helping their family cope and even sometimes crying with them and letting them know that its ok to cry...i wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world. i may be there helping my patients and families, but to me, they are making an even bigger impact on my life. don't tell my boss but i'd do the same work for way less pay