New Grad going into Hospice - page 2

I posted a while back about an interview I had with a home hospice company. Turns out I got the job, and I am thrilled. This is the job I thought I would have to work up to over several years. ... Read More

  1. by   EmilyLucille523
    Thanks so much for this thread! I almost didn't apply for a Hospice job because I thought I'd needed some floor experience first.

    I too am a New Grad and recently been told that a Hospice agency is looking for a bilingual RN. On the plus side, I have worked as a CNA and then LPN at a long-term care facility that does care for Hospice residents. I have had my share of end-of-life experiences as well. I took care of my Mother until her death when she was on Hospice and have taken care of 11 - 12 Hospice residents that have passed away on my shift.

    So even though I don't have that "hospital" experience, I hope the knowledge and experience that I do have counts for something and helps me get this job.
  2. by   EmilyLucille523
    Quote from NurseMarla
    To Shelbee:

    You don't need your RN to work in hospice, but the positions for LPNs are limited because they can't be a case manager or pronounce, so you would be backup for the RNs.

    As far as preparation & getting your foot in the door, I would suggest trying to find a job in LTC, home health, or hospice while you are in school. I know our hospice is always hurting for volunteers, too.

    In general:

    I'm still doing very well & loving it. I was up to 5 patients until a census drop coincided with the hiring of another full-time nurse. I was down to 1 until the family of a husband & wife pair of my patients put up a stink about losing me, so I got them back Unfortunately, the husband passed away so I'm now back down to 1

    I did sign up to take call 4-5 nights a week though, and that's been great. I'm still getting decent hours & learning a ton. I also seem to have developed a knack for predicting when patients will pass, which I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.
    By the way, what was your beginning salary as a New Grad Hospice RN? I was asked what my salary requirement was in my interview and had no idea what to ask for!!! Any info is greatly appreciated!
  3. by   LikeSweetSoulMusic
    Hi Marla -

    Thanks for this thread. I amjust checking in to see how it has been this last month for you.

    Also, since you are PRN, what does a caseload of 1 (or 2 or 3 or 4) patient(s) actually equate to?

    Thanks!
  4. by   violinetcetera
    Hello fellow nurses. I just graduated with MSN though have Bachelor in music... Hospice nursing is what I want to do and why I went into nursing. I have had research experience in it, attended conferences, and volunteered. However, thus far I've been unable to find a job as hospice nurse. I am about to start a new job in med-surge in about 2 weeks, but I really wish I didn't have to take that job. Does anyone have input in terms of who hires new grads in hospice within the Bay Area? I'm in the East Bay but willing to travel a little.

    Thank you!

    Marie
  5. by   Becky8
    I am wondering if there are any hospice agencies even considering new grads right now? I thought I might be able to get into an inpatient hospice but have had no luck. I have worked as a hospice lna for the past year and love it. I have lined up LTC work, but worry that it is hospital experience they will want. Anyone out there know of an inpatient hospice that would hire a new grad? We can move anywhere...thanks
  6. by   Wsmith16
    Franky, I never understood the rationle of "you need atleast two yrs experience in a hospital to work in hospice or home health". Especially when you are dealing wit one pt at a time and in home health most of the pts are stable if their not you smply call 911. I always thought it was a farce. My friends who began their nursing career in hospice and home health are flourishing and they are generrally happy in their jobs and love nursing. Those who are dedicated, professional and are willing to learn generally make it. Congrats to the OP for not listening to naysayers and doing what you love.
  7. by   tewdles
    Quote from Wsmith16
    Franky, I never understood the rationle of "you need atleast two yrs experience in a hospital to work in hospice or home health". Especially when you are dealing wit one pt at a time and in home health most of the pts are stable if their not you smply call 911. I always thought it was a farce. My friends who began their nursing career in hospice and home health are flourishing and they are generrally happy in their jobs and love nursing. Those who are dedicated, professional and are willing to learn generally make it. Congrats to the OP for not listening to naysayers and doing what you love.
    I would disagree if you are supposing that most patients in hospice are "stable"...they are not, they are dying. The median length of hospice care is typically less than 30 days in my area, and this is not outlandish for hospice in general. Hospice patients are in their homes many times with horrific wounds, tubes from every possible orifice, PICCs and ports, TPN, and all sort of respiratory support. These people can be "okay" one moment and incredibly symptomatic the next...and it is up to the hospice nurse to fix it and then teach the family how to keep it fixed.

    Hospice nurses must be equally able to care for a 29 year old with glioblastoma and a 94 year old victim of Lewy Body dementia. They must be able to have the critical thinking and confidence to get families through frightening and long hours of symptom management in the middle of the night, often without the assistance or support of another hospice professional.

    Hospice nurses NEVER "simply call 911". WE ARE 911 for our patients and families.

    Having said all of that, it is not impossible for new grad nurses to be successful in hospice. It is simply easier for them to start out in a residential, or facility setting as opposed to the field setting. The field is filled with potholes which could mean the unnecessary loss of potential hospice professionals.

    Oh, and by the way...today I visited 6 patients in person, spoke with 3 on the phone, collaborated with MSW about one, spiritual care about another, and had multiple discussions with administration about an ethical issue for a new admit. Of course, it would be nice if none of that over lapped so that I could "deal with one patient at a time".
    Last edit by tewdles on Mar 12, '10

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