Nursing home vs Home health


Just wondering if anyone that has worked either one can give me a little insight on what the pros and cons of each are. I know the basics on nursing home work as I am a sitter at one now but I've been offered a better paying job in home health and Im not sure which I would rather do. Both jobs told me that once I take my state test pay will increase but the home health has much better pay to start out with. Im just wondering exactly what all is expected of you to make it pay so much better.

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

1,816 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I know people in home health and they all like it because of the independence and the slower pace. You don't have someone looking over your shoulder all the time (I think once every 6 months a supervisor comes with you and watches you work, which is nerve-wracking, but the rest of the time you work alone). You also have more time to provide care. The agency schedules your appointments and gives you a certain amount of time, like an hour usually, to do whatever is on the care plan, which is all laid out for you. So during that hour there are no call bells or alarms or 5 other people waiting to be toileted at the same time. That said, you have all kinds of clients and just like in the nursing home, you'll have to deal with people you don't like, family members you don't like, etc. And if you have a question or need help you're kind of on your own. Around here I think the pay is the same for CNAs and HHAs.

I personally love working in a nursing home and I'm not interested in home health because I HATE driving. Although in NHs you have to work every other weekend and the home health agency in my area has the CNAs rotating so they work only one weekend a month.


207 Posts

Home Health your body is not in pain when you get off work vs nursing home. Home Health you are not going to go up the pay scale or do much to improve your motor skills, operating equipment, seeing different skin problems-so forth and so on. Consider your long term goals. If you are going to stay a CNA - it is the skills and eperience that is going to pay - you don't get that from one patient. If you are going to become a nurse/go back to school for anything - don't punish yourself - stay HH and study a little at work.


6 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Thanks for the input. The nursing home here pays cna's 7.00 per hour and one of the home health agency's offered me 10.00 per hour so I think Im going the home health route since Im also going to lpn school and they are also more flexible schedule wise.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Being someone who has worked in home health, nursing homes and hospitals as a CNA I will say that I liked home health better than nursing homes but I like working in the hospital better than home health or nursing homes. Here is my list of pro's and con's for each setting.

Nursing Home


  • You have the same clients so you get to know their habits and get a routine down.
  • You have a nurse or other CNAs available if you need help with something.


  • Doesn't pay well.
  • The work is rather repetitive and not very mentally stimulating. I found that it was a lot of feeding and cleaning residents and not much more (as a CNA at least.) I personally found it rather boring but some people really enjoy LTC.
  • You have limited supplies and equipment and the work can be back breaking.

Home Health


  • You have one patient at a time so you can spend more time on good quality patient care.
  • You are independent and have the ability to do things your way at your own pace.
  • You’re in a client’s home so they are usually happier and more comfortable than in LTC facilities.
  • Usually pays better then LTC, but may or may not pay as well as a hospital.


  • You're by yourself so if you need help its not always easy to find.
  • Because you’re not at a facility you must rely on your own judgment and get creative when you don't have the supplies/equipment you need.
  • Scheduling for home health can be a little tricky unless you work for a really good company.
  • Traveling from one client’s home to another gets old after a while.



  • You always have different patients with different conditions so you get to see and learn a lot.
  • They usually pay better then either LTC or home health.
  • You almost always have enough supplies and equipment so you don’t have to “make due” like in LTC and home health.
  • You tend to learn other skills in hospitals that you can't do in home health or LTC (such as phlebotomy, doing EKGs etc.)
  • It’s different from day to day so it rarely gets boring.
  • Probably the best setting of your a nursing student or if you plan on going back to nursing school in the future because of the different learning opportunities.


  • You have to be quick to work in a hospital, LTC and home health tend to be slower.
  • There isn’t really a strict routine like in LTC or home health so if you’re a person who needs to have a routine then working in the hospital might not be the place for you.

I probably forgot a few things but if I think of them I will add them in later.

!Chris :specs:


155 Posts

I totally agree with cjcsoontoburn. I worked at a nursing home for 6 months, hated it, did not learn anything-except that CNA's who work in nursinghomes are burnt out, complain all the time, and the RNs are demanding. I work in home health during breaks (holiday) from nursing school and love it. I even will work 3rd shift sometimes, which is weird because I'm a stickler to my schedule and if I want days only days I want, but if they ask me to work a 3rd shift-I'll come in and work!

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