Med-surg RN wanting to switch to hospice


I am currently a med-surg RN with 2+ years of experience in a hospital setting. I'm relocating so I am currently looking for a new job. I would really love to make the switch to hospice nursing and I've interviewed for one home hospice position. Can anyone that's made a similar jump from acute care to home hospice describe what to expect? I'm still a little unsure about how the shedule works (on-call shifts, holidays, etc.) and all of my responsibilities (do I deal with insurance problems, how much documentation is required, etc.) Any and all input is appreciated!

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

Your responsibilities will depend a great deal upon the size and location of the hospice agency.

If they are a larger hospice they will likely have an oncall and triage staff. They may have dedicated admission and intake staff. Most hospices have a billing type person verifying insurance.

Documentation is pretty comprehensive and is regulated by both your state and the US CMS. Fortunately, hospice documentation is not even half the nightmare that home care documentation is.

good luck!


218 Posts

I recently switched from med/surg to home hospice, it is very different. I am a case manager so depending on what your position is such will determine your responsibilities. I do bedside but manage the care for all my patients, aides, supplies, plan of care etc. Other RN just do home visits they are over flow, nights weekends etc. It is different for me because I have to show decline to make sure they qualify for hospice where as the hospital I had to show improvement. The charting is the worst part of the job, I spend a lot of time at home charting. I like the flexibility and being on my own and one on one with my patients. The families are usually harder to deal with than the patients. It is difficult to keep nurses in hospice, many don't like being in peoples home, but I really enjoy it. My company has had a high turnover with staff, the pay is really good(I am in Las Vegas), I moved here from NJ. Having med/surg experience is an asset in hospice, many nurses turn to me because of my experience with central lines, chest tubes etc.

Good luck