I've been a RN at the bedside 4 years, in the ICU for the last 2. I used to do LTC home health assessments on the side (pre-covid), and loved visiting patients in their homes. I also have years of live-in caregiver experience from before I was a RN. Basically I've known home health is something I've wanted to do from the beginning, but didn't want to jump into it without first having a strong clinical foundation. I like my ICU job but I don't feel like it's my "calling" or anything. I do miss visiting patients in their homes.
Based on your experience, would you recommend taking a full time home health position or starting per diem and working up to full time? Keep in mind I could always go back to my ICU job if I left for a while (they like me and are known to re-hire & re-orient nurses after leaving the bedside for extended periods of time). My thought process is that going into home health case management full time would really give me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the job, so I'd get better/more comfortable with it faster - and I could always go back to the bedside if I wanted. On the flip side, starting off in HH per diem might be nice so I could keep my current job incase I decided it wasn't for me or didn't like the company, but it seems like it'd also take a lot more time to learn the ropes and actually get good/efficient at the job. Also, with my experience I already know I like the home setting and am fine with the charting aspect. I recently found out I have a connective tissue disorder and I'm basically a L&I claim waiting to happen, so that's another reason for considering leaving the bedside all together.
I'm feeling an itch to do something different with my life, and hopefully find my niche, just undecided on how to go about doing it. I need to stay with my current company (large healthcare conglomerate) a total of 5 years to be vested in my retirement and have just under a year left, so my options are
1) full time home health job at same company
2) decrease current FTE and go per diem at a different home health company
What would you do if you were in my shoes and/or had to do it all over again?