Home health agencies vary in employment status. Some hire as independent contractor's (which puts you dealing with your own taxes) & some as direct employees. The pay is also variable. Some agencies are pay-per-visit, which means your income will vary with the census & how much a specific type of visit pays, and some are salary. So far in my experience, I've found the salary positions to be the most reliable income-wise. There's also an awful lot of "off the clock" work with the per-visit situations...you don't get paid for "chart time"...this goes toward what's called "productivity", but doesn't have any financial benefit for you. I've not seen any agencies that don't reimburse for mileage, but the rate for that & how it's paid also varies by agency. As far as what you'll be doing as a HH nurse it's called "case management". You are responsible for the coordination of the pts care...lots of teaching & education, direct care, calling docs, collaborating with other team members such as physical/occupational therapy, ordering supplies, med management, drawing labs, IV therapy, wound care...the whole 9 yards. Homehealth requires exceptional nursing skills as there is a great deal of autonomy with this job...more times than not, you're very much on your own in the field. It's a very difficult, but rewarding job that requires a great deal of critical thinking & being on your toes. Personally, and because of the amount of autonomy & responsibility, I would not recommend homecare to a new grad. Get some floor experience (get comfortable in your new role as a nurse), even just 6 months, & then give it some thought. Congrats on passing NCLEX & all my best to you! :)
A good GPS is a nice little investment for the HH nurse!