Today’s evolving healthcare landscape makes it possible for clinical nurses to choose from a wide variety of healthcare settings. While this is one benefit of many in this rewarding career path, many registered nurses (RNs) don’t fully realize just how many opportunities are available to them. For instance, certain facilities like hospitals and urgent care centers are typically preferred, but there are numerous benefits to home care that nurses can miss out on by not taking advantage of these opportunities.
“The Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on reducing rehospitalization rates, treating chronic disease, and making healthcare more accessible, has ultimately required providers to become responsible for the continuum of care,” explains Greta Haskel, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services division. “Since home care supports this concept, many healthcare organizations are expanding this service to effectively serve their patients during all stages of care. Nurses play a major role in the continuity of care, so this is an area where the demand for experienced clinical nurses is stronger than ever before.”
Nurses working for Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) care for patients in their homes, where they perform assessments and provide essential services. These cases typically run 45 minutes to an hour, and nurses can choose to take on as many or as few cases as they’d like. In addition, these RNs have the freedom to arrange their own schedule to fit their needs. This provides a level of flexibility not often available in other settings. On this note, home health care gives nurses who work in facilities with more structured hours the opportunity to take on extra work based on your schedule: for example, either on the weekends—since some facilities do not offer weekend services—or on the way home from work.
In addition to flexibility, home care offers RNs a chance to enhance their clinical competency in a couple of different ways. “In this type of setting, you need to have the ability to make independent decisions about your patient’s care,” says Greta. “Since this requires a certain level of skill and experience, pursuing a home care role can help set you apart from other nurses when applying to jobs in the future.”
Additionally, home care gives you the opportunity to gain experience with another in-demand skillset—electronic medical records (EMRs). “As a result of ACA mandates, most (if not all) healthcare organizations are in the process of transitioning to an EMR system,” notes Greta. “Despite this fact, not all nurses have experience using these programs. As a result, one of our clients is providing their home care nurses with training on the particular EMR their organization uses. Not many organizations do this, so this is just one great incentive to pursue a career in home health.”
Many home health agencies have a large volume of hiring needs for RNs and, while some specialties like geriatric health require prior home care experience, others like maternal/child health only require clinical experience with the population—making this a setting that most clinical RNs can seamlessly transition to.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, our aforementioned client who is providing EMR training is currently hiring. We encourage you to check out the position and if you feel like you are a fit, please apply directly on our website or contact Greta at: firstname.lastname@example.org.