New LPN Seeking Info On How To Become Hospice Nurse

  1. I graduated in June of this year, I took a job where I did my clinicals. We have a Trac & Vent Unit, Rehab Unit & LTC Unit so I get all aspects of the process but I really feel a need to work with hospice. I have gotten to work with a few patients on hospice and be there when they expired. This is something I handle well having dealt with in personally several times and want to truly make a difference problem is I can't seem to find online training or even just training. I could get a job with an agency but I really feel before I am put out there in the field it is only right that I have further training so I am not going in blind so to speak with a company that just wants a body there not someone that is trained. Any advice on where to start would be greatly appreciated and valued.
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    About nowdistracted

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 23; Likes: 12


  3. by   jeannepaul
    Most hospice companies where I live will only hire lvn's to do crisis care where you stay at a pt's bedside for 8-12 hours. We have a few that work in the office. Only Rn's are hired as case managers. I did work for one company about 8 years ago that did have lvn's working alongside RN's, they would team them up, so it may be possible to do field nursing. good luck.
  4. by   nowdistracted
    I would be willing to even start there. I did sign up for a palliative care online 6 week course starting on the 14th. I thought it couldn't hurt and that will give me time to find direction.
  5. by   Sweeshynurse
    I am an LPN who "officially" works crisis care in my hospice company. However, there are times when I have to make primary nurse visits or work in our acute inpatient facility. My hospice does 10 weeks of orientation, so our staff is highly trained before being sent out on our own. I would recommend building your skill set for a while. We are expected to do venipunture, IV, catheters, wound care, PT/INR and the list goes on. Plus you need to be able to handle crazy families without losing your cool. I hope you find what you are looking for. Good Luck!!!
  6. by   softrbreeze
    My company used to have a FT LPN that would see patients every other week (Medicare requires RN Case Mgr to personally see pt at least every other week). However, when our census got to a certain point, they opened up another office and split the census and territories. The LPN worked FT for about a year helping out both offices, then they phased her down to PRN. I have heard of other hospices phasing out the LPNs as well. I think if you want to work in hospice, having that certification would be vital. The LPNs don't have as much paperwork and responsibilities either, just the pleasure of the visits, "crazy families" aside
  7. by   areensee
    My first advice would be to get your RN. What you can do in hospice is very limited if you are an LPN. Admissions and care planning are areas that require an RN, and although some hospice agencies do hire LPN's, all-RN agencies are becoming far more common. Continuity is extremely important when working with hospice patients, and the fewer the number of nurses caring for a patient, the better. Case managers (RN's) tend to be very protective of their patients, and usually want to be the ones seeing them on a regular basis. So go ahead and get a job for the experience, but then get back to school and get an RN!
  8. by   maxycrystal13
    I am currently a LPN and work CTC for Hospice. I do patient visits on occasion PRN. I'm currently in the mobility program ( 4th semester) with hopes of becoming a RN CM for hospice after graduating August 2013!! Love hospice but not much to do for the LPN.
  9. by   tewdles
    In a previous hospice position, I worked regularly with LPNs who were "teamed" with RN CMs for delivery of care. These teams often managed the care of up to 20+ patients who often resided primarily in LTC/SNF/ALF environments. Their location decreased the travel time and made the care more consolidated and collaborative with the facility staff.

    That model worked very well and allowed some visit flexibility that "unteamed" RN CMs often did not enjoy.
  10. by   maxycrystal13
    I guess it's just different depending on the company!
  11. by   prettymica
    I work hospice but on a PRN basis, I do weekly visit and continuous care. I did used this as a full time job for nearly 2 years but when the census is low so are your visits. Some RNs don't want you in their territory because they don't want you to know what they are doing, I worked for a very laxed hospice and it was based on favoritism and who you know. I was offered full-time but declined. Its very limited and out company territory is very wide.. 60 miles in either direction from the office. I was going to get CHPN-LPN certification but why when I am one semester away from being an RN. Also in Ga its hard to get full time work most are going to RN-BSN for hospice just like the hospitals.
  12. by   areensee
    It does vary from company to company, but the trend is to go to an all RN staff. The limitations imposed by federal and state law make it less attractive for agencies to hire LPN's. In the past, I did actually work with an LPN who essentially was doing case management, but everything he did had to be double checked and signed off by the RN, and this may have been stretching state law a bit. The question being asked is, why would an agency hire 2 nurses to do the work of one? He was the last LPN to be hired at that agency, which decided to go to an all RN staff. With ever more stringent standards coming from Medicare, agencies are discovering that they can get more "bang for their buck" by hiring RN's. Sure, there are still LPN's working in hospice, but as Medicare begins to focus on outcomes where previously they did not, there will be more and more nursing functions that require the credentials of an RN.

    So, it's the writing on the wall. If you want a career in hospice nursing, it would be to your advantage to begin thinking about getting your RN license.
  13. by   maxycrystal13
    I am currently 4th semester in the mobility program set to graduate August of this year!!! And that was my motivation. I want to continue with hospice and I agree with you 100% the only way to do so is to be a RN... and that's exactly why I'm where I am!!!
  14. by   areensee
    Fantastic. I hope you do stick with hospice. It's a very special kind of nursing and the demand is only going to go up as baby boomers (I include myself in this one) age.