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nrcnurse has 13 years experience and specializes in hospice.

Mid-life career changer, left corporate job, worked as a CNA, LPN, RN, BSN. Work in Hospice since 2006. CHPN. Studying for Board Certification as a Meditation Specialist. Working on MSN/ANP.

nrcnurse's Latest Activity

  1. nrcnurse

    Need caregiver advice for esophageal cancer

    It is fine for him to drink as long as he can swallow. Oral care is also really important, so keep that up! You might want to keep his head slightly elevated to help the fluid go in the proper direction. It is really hard to be a nurse when it comes to your family and end-of-life. I was very grateful for my hospice team when my parents where on service. In case no one has told you, you are a great kid and your dad is fortunate to have you with him.
  2. nrcnurse

    pay for 28 year CNA? (just curious)

    I have a friend, an awesome hospice CNA, who has been with her agency for 28 years. She is "at the top" of her pay scale, and her last raise was three years ago. Does anyone have an idea of what the top of the pay scale is for a CNA?? I am just curious. As we all know, aides are our extra eyes and ears, and a good one is invaluable. Thank you.
  3. nrcnurse

    Med/surg to Inpatient hospice empath health job

    I have worked for Empath. The patients in the Hospice Care Centers are there for symptom management, not long term. Their symptoms were not manageable at home, so they were sent to the Care Center. Yes, some of the patients will die; most will go back home. Admissions to the Care Center are NOT full admissions to Hospice. Those have already been done. The software is Suncoast Solutions, and any slowness has to do with the servers and the IT department. One of the really nice things about Hospice is that you don't have to worry about killing anyone (not that you would do so purposefully!) as opposed the the specter of "possibly" causing a death in the hospital. You will have more opportunity to spend meaningful time with patients, as opposed to running in to dispense pills and disappearing until the next meds are due.
  4. nrcnurse

    To those that left critical care for this

    Good for you! I have worked for five different hospices, four as a traveler, and my experience has been as I described. However, my current employer (where I began my hospice career... back with my beloved dysfunctional family) has recently hired a new CEO and he has made some profound changes toward lightening the case load numbers. There is hope!!
  5. nrcnurse

    New grad, start in hospice?

    Your LTC experience is valuable to hospice, for sure, but hospital experience is very important to the job. You are expected to know about/recognize signs and symptoms of a variety of disease processes, some you may have barely covered in school. It is NOT just holding the hand of someone who is actively dying. Many times you care for patients who may be on service for an extended period, who don't die but continue to demonstrate decline. Give yourself the experience of working in a hospital. You will be a better nurse for it.
  6. nrcnurse

    Too old to travel nurse????

    I took my first assignment at 61. Age discrimination has never an issue. Facilities hire travelers because they need competent nurses. Your agency vets you in advance, so the facility is not flying blind. They know they are getting an experienced nurse who is ready to hit the ground running.
  7. nrcnurse

    To those that left critical care for this

    For me, the most striking thing about leaving the hospital to work in Hospice, is that I don't have to worry about killing anyone. It was a huge black cloud that lifted off my head! Most of the patients have a DNRO/POLST, but that does not mean I treat them with less respect that someone without the DNR. I love being able to spend more time with patients and families than they would get at the MD office or in the hospital. They appreciate it as well. I am attending to their needs/concerns during the last phase of life and helping them to go on to their next great adventure. I love my job. That being said, I would never work as a Staff RN Case Manager on salary. They are worked to death. Forget the 40 hr work week. It's more like 50-60. I have worked, full time, per diem and am paid for every hour I put in. Also, I don't have to ask permission to take time off. No PTO or insurance, but that's not a problem for me.
  8. nrcnurse

    Newly hired New to hospice

    Per diem is the ONLY way to work for hospice. You get paid for every hour that you work. They work staff nurses to death. It's the same everywhere. I work as a traveller, which is the only way I would take a case load. I get paid for every hour I work.
  9. nrcnurse


    Core Curriculum and the book with test questions are the basis for the test. I'd go with that.
  10. nrcnurse

    Help! New EMR System

    I used HCHB during a 13 week travel assignment. We charted on... smartphones. (!!) I did a LOT of dictating, and actually liked only carrying one device. I have also used McKesson (which is cumbersome, but useable) and Solutions (no place to do a narrative note within your visit.) Of the three, I think I liked HCHB the best r/t carrying only one small device and dictating my narrative notes.
  11. nrcnurse

    Travel Nursing: I'm in Maine Now! Part 2

    I, too, am a Travel Nurse from the South who landed in New England. Vermont is now my second home during the spring-summer-fall. No New England winters for this fifth-generation Floridian! I have had many similar experiences; the most wonderful people, narrow mountain roads, deer and bears, and, best of all, minimal (or no) traffic! "My" CNA tells me that when things are not going well, the patients say, "When is Nancy coming back!" That alone makes my heart soar. Unfortunately, I am not taking an assignment there this year. (Domestic harmony requires that I work closer to home for awhile.) But, my heart is with the patients and my friends in Vermont.
  12. nrcnurse

    What's the real deal with Travel Nursing?

    I love traveling. The job is the same everywhere, just different EMR and staff. I have made wonderful friends, had some interesting adventures, and gained valuable experience. The one thing I wish I'd known is that you have to file a tax return in EVERY state that you work (unless it's a state without personal income tax) AND each state taxes your ENTIRE income; yours, your husband's, investment income, interest income, EVERYTHING. That might make you take a closer look at where you take an assignment.
  13. nrcnurse

    Long term care/hospice travel nurse

    I am a Hospice traveler. I have used Core Medical Group for the past 18 months and been happy with them. If you go to Thegypsynurse.com there is a "jobs" page. Search "Hospice" and quite a few hospice jobs will come up.
  14. nrcnurse

    Travel Hospice Nursing!

    You are correct, TammyG, there is a learning curve, but ordering equipment, calling docs, calling pharmacies, etc., is pretty much the same everywhere. I have a new spiral notebook for each assignment. In the front, I write down all the contact numbers and names of managers, staff, DME, pharmacy, docs, etc. that I will need. And, I always have a contact to ask every stupid question that I might have. Ramping up does not take nearly as long as you might think. Honestly, it is the same job in each location, just with a different cast of characters. And, traveling is a wonderful experience.
  15. nrcnurse

    hourly pay?

    I have been a hospice nurse for 11 years. The only time I've been paid more than the "base rate" was when the weekend team had trouble finding staff. That gig paid $50/hr and it was sweet! Otherwise, working overtime as a Travel Hospice Nurse I make $48/hr. $40/hr for a Hospice position is rare.
  16. nrcnurse

    Travel Hospice Nursing!

    I am a hospice traveller. I have worked in FL, VT and NH. I work with Core Medical Group. They have lots of hospice positions, but you can also go to The Gypsy Nurse web site and search their jobs board for hospice jobs. Lots of positions there. It's the same job, just different locations. Learning the EMR is probably the most challenging part. I love working in New England in the summer and Florida in the winter.