I have a love/hate relationship with community nursing. I joined CP as a newer grad RPN with only 2 months of LTC experience and when I started it was amazing. The money in community is rarely great (although it can be. I know an RN who made $119k last year working in home care), but the relationships you develop with your patients are awesome, unmatched. You will never feel appreciation the way you do when you provide care to someone in their home. As an RPN I also developed a wide range of skills rapidly by working in the community, the skills I used FAR surpassed the skills I used when I transferred into the hospital, and I also loved that I had a more holistic view of my patients than I did in other settings. The company was well run initially but I watched it go downhill quickly. Being harassed into doing on-call and being told you aren't a team player if you say no, left with no support in the community and feeling completely alone was the norm (nothing like needing some urgent help with a patient situation and having a manager simply not answer their phone, they were famous for that). Things like having a patient assigned to you with a skill you've never done before or are just not comfortable with and being told "oh well, figure it out".
It isn't just CarePartners, it's community nursing. This particular area is growing at a pace with which the companies and the nurses can't keep up because the funding within this area is not growing proportionately. I left the community after 3 years and moved into med-surg nursing in an acute care hospital and I often said that my worst day in the hospital is better than my best day in the community. In a perfect world, community nursing would the greatest job out there. In reality, it's brutal. You're on your own (even though they will tell you that you are NEVER on your own), the pay sucks, the responsibilities are HUGE and seemingly endless. What I mean by that, for example, is in the hospital when I need a specific supply, I walk out into the hallway and grab it off the supply cart or call down to stores and someone will literally tube it up to me. In community, you are responsible for ordering every single patient's supplies, fighting with the case managers at the LHIN to get their supply orders approved because of their arbitrary "supply maximums" (imagine being allowed to order a maximum of 6 pieces of a product like foam or inadine every TWO weeks for ankle to knee bilateral lower leg wounds which require a daily dressing change, it's a constant battle). It's a lot of work at home, the LHIN requires a ton of mandatory reporting on patients which comes at no extra pay to you (I spent sometimes 2-3 hours on paperwork at home after a shift).
Not to mention the filth and squalor you have no choice but to work in. The most memorable moment in my nursing career, and I don't know how I will ever top it, was entering a patient's home who was being seen for wound care. He lived in pure filth, a true hoarder with dirt and animal excrement everywhere (but you do get used to that because you quickly learn that for many patients that is the norm). I was there to change his coccyx dressings, undid his brief before rolling him and found his abdomen and genitals and entire bed crawling with thousands, yes literally thousands of tiny pharaoh ants. They were covering his entire midsection, the g-tube site, crawling in and out of his suprapubic catheter insertion site. his brief was full, the bed was full. Everywhere. He refused to go to the hospital, a care conference was arranged, pest control came in and determined not only did he have an ant infestation but cockroaches as well. Ultimately he was deemed capable of making his own decisions and we simply had to use PPE and shake off after leaving his house.
When I went to the hospital I lost a lot of skills, spent half my shift transferring people to and from the commode and changing linens; I felt way less like I was a nurse but my life got a lot less stressful.
I see from your recent posts that you have left the hospital after many years. I'm happy to answer any questions you have if I haven't completely scared you away