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Really interested in Home Health

Home Health   (3,981 Views 22 Comments)
by TazziRN TazziRN, RN (Member) Member

21,409 Profile Views; 6,487 Posts

Hi all. I am really feeling a pull toward home health nursing. I started my career many years ago with VNA as an aide and I think I would like to try it from an RN's perspective. I've spent my entire RN career in the ER, can anyone tell me how the pay is compared to acute care nursing? Just curious.

Update: I called VNA today, and the pay for a benefitted position is $34.25. Not bad, I was expecting less. My salary in the ER just went up to $40, so it's less of a difference than I thought it would be.

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3 Followers; 36,831 Posts; 97,287 Profile Views

As far as pay, from what I can see, the pay is usually somewhat lower. I was told the reasons for this: (1) based on amt avail d/t reimbursement level for case (2) you are only seeing one patient (you should be grateful! ((my comment)).

From an RNs perspective (I'm an LVN, this is my opinion): If it were me, I would prefer to do visit/shift nursing rather than the supervisor's job. In the agencies that I have worked for, there are many RNs who only do regular care or visits. They don't do admits, or recerts, etc. To me, doing patient care is the way to go for the amount of money being paid. Also, less headaches. But you have to find the right agency where they have enough cases and employee mix where you can do this. Also be prepared for a lower pay rate than what you got in a hosp b/c stable in home care is mostly rated at the LPN level of care. That is another reason why they pay less. (An RN might get a little higher, but really, it is only to get and keep her/him as an employee). Hope you could understand my explanation and if you go into home health I hope you get a good situation.

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HHRN1 has 20 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

3 Posts; 557 Profile Views

Hi Tazzi.

I'm new to this forum, but I've been in HH for 14yrs., after 7 yrs. in Med/Surg. Home Health is not for everyone but I can honestly say that I love it. If you work for a hospital based agency your compensation shoud be equal to staff RNs at the hospital. This is based on my experience and I have worked at two hospital based organizations. My pay over the last few years has ranged from $30-$35/hr. I began as a visit nurse, was clinical manager for several years, and have now returned as 1/2 time visit nurse, 1/2 time review nurse. If the agency is large enough there are many different positions available once you are experienced (intake, review, PI, management, visit, case management). Although the paperwork is horrendous, the actual provision of care to patients at home is extremely rewarding and challenging. You have the opurtunity to provide skilled care (assessment, IVs, wound care-you actually get to see them heal!, major patient education idividualized and based on the patient's unique living environment, keeping patients out of the ER.....I could go on and on. Although I have been miserable at times in my HH career it has had nothing to do with the specialty, only with management changes and office/hospital politics. If you can find a good agency I think you might love it! I've read some of your posts and I think HH might be calling your name. With your ER experience I would imagine that any HH agency would grab you right up.

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6,487 Posts; 21,409 Profile Views

Thanks, HH. If I do home care I would go with VNA. I had a good experience with them as a CNA and I think they're better than the other agencies around here. There are no hospital-based agencies here so I don't have that option.

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dria has 10 years experience and specializes in home health, peds, case management.

246 Posts; 5,433 Profile Views

tazzi...i don't know what the situation is in your area, but the vna around here pays significantly less than the private (non-hospital based) don't be afraid to take a second look at them, with the passage of time, and the perspective of an rn, you may be surprised....

any agency will be lucky to get you!

good luck!

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CapeCodMermaid has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

1 Follower; 6,063 Posts; 59,998 Profile Views

No offense meant at all, but why would a HH agency 'grab up" someone with only ER experience? Certainly it's not the same pace or the same set of skills.Someone's living room with the clutter, the family, the barking dog, the questionable cleanliness is a far cry from the ER. If you are a good nurse,with good assessment skills then you'll do well in home care...IF you are also flexible and not into control.

The VNA is the best home care agency around here and there are lots of agencies.

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lacyrn specializes in Medical/Surgical.

4 Posts; 650 Profile Views

hey, Viking. I've been an RN for 1 year and have only worked on a busy Med/Surg unit. I feel that I do more damage control than patient care there. Have u worked in a hospital setting?

I am thinking about accepting a VNA position. But I am torn. Have any advise?

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6,487 Posts; 21,409 Profile Views

Hey, no fighting, guys! I just wanted to know what the pay was compared to hospital nursing.

Lacy, if you feel like you're doing damage control then I think you'd like home health.

I've worked home health before but it was many years ago. I took care of children on home vents. I quit because I didn't like spending 8 hours with one patient, I wanted to see several pts in a day but there weren't any openings in that department at the time.

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HHRN1 has 20 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

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No offense taken at all. While HH and ER are two very different specialties they do share some common skill set characteristics. An ER nurse develops excellent assesment skills (vital in the autonomous setting of HH), good venipuncture skills (vey important in HH because it's not very cost effective to send out another nurse if you can't draw blood), and most importantly the ability to take any and all situations in stride without becoming flustered as both specialties are notorius for delivering the non-routine and unexpected. That was a heck of a run on sentence! Anyway, it's just my opinion, but I think an ER Nurse would transition well to HH.

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Cattitude has 20 years experience and specializes in Lie detection.

695 Posts; 5,512 Profile Views

Hey Tazzi,

Come on over to the other side ;) . In my case, HH pays better than the hospital because of the type of job I do. I do visits for Long Term patients so it's more chronic care and I get to keep the same patients until they die, move, or go to a nursing home.

I also do their case management and thats why we get paid more. Currently it's approx. $42 per hr. So I make about 10,000 more a year than if I were to work in the hospital. I do work for a hospital based agency as well and we are union.

Now, having said that, I can say that I don't work weekends or holidays or nights, EVER. I can take time during the day to get stuff done if I need to. I can start a little early and finish ealry if I need to, basically be somewhat flexible with my hours. As long as the pt's are seen, that is what counts.

Hopefully you can check out a few places and compare. Keep us updated.

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GoldenFire5 has 5 years experience and specializes in ICU.

225 Posts; 6,361 Profile Views

What exactly does hourly pay in home health mean? Is it timed from when you leave the central office to when you return at the end of the day? Or is it hours spent with the patient?

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