What You Should Know Before Applying
After gaining one to two years of work experience on a medical-surgical floor, the career opportunities that are available to a nurse become virtually limitless. While some clinicians will continue their employment journey in a traditional healthcare setting, others will choose to purse a career in a non-traditional work environment. Home health nursing is a non-traditional employment option that provides clinicians with independence and autonomy. Keep reading to find out what you can expect from a career as a home health nurse.
What is a home health nurse?
A home health nurse, also known as a home care nurse, provides one-on-one care in a patient’s home. Most of the time, the patients that a home care nurse treats have been discharged from a hospital or other medical care setting. Home health nurses are primarily responsible for ensuring a patient’s continued recovery and for monitoring for any potential complications that would result in readmittance to a healthcare facility.
Depending upon their experience and training, a home health nurse may provide other specialized services (i.e. pain management, wound care, hospice care). Home care nurses always work under the direction of the patient’s physician and may be responsible for managing/directing other members of the patient’s care team (i.e. nursing assistants or non-medical home care providers).
Are you a nurse that’s been contemplating a return to school? We recently had the opportunity to interview Nicole Thomas, a Doctorally Prepared Registered Nurse and owner of Nicole Thomas – INC, about her experiences in higher academia. Keep reading to find out what insights she has about pursuing advanced degrees and how she can help you achieve your career goals.
1. Tell us about yourself. What is your education and background within the nursing field?
My name is Nicole Thomas and I am a Doctorally Prepared Registered Nurse with a specialization in healthcare systems leadership. Additionally, I am a Certified Case Manager.
Like so many other nurses, I started my career on the med-surg floor. However, after working 12-hour shifts for two years, I knew that I needed something more flexible, something that would allow me to be more present for my family. That’s when I made the transition to home healthcare. I worked in home healthcare for about three years before I had the opportunity to transition to managed care.
As a nurse in managed care, I learned three important lessons: healthcare is a business; healthcare is heavily influenced by community and politics; and patients need leaders that are going to advocate for their well being and their rights. Armed with this knowledge, I was ready to take on the role as Associate Director for Medical and Clinical Operations when the state of Louisiana decided to privatize their Medicaid system.