The numbers listed above come from the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and represent the entire registered nurse profession, including home health care nurses. Currently, there are no employment figures for home health care nurses.
Home health care nurses are generally registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/licensed vocational nurses (LPN/LVN) who specialize in caring for patients in their place of residence. Home health care nurses are typically employed by accredited home care agencies. Physicians and other health care providers arrange and oversee the home care services performed by licensed nurses on a part-time or intermittent basis. The responsibilities of home health care nurses may vary based on location, training, and certification, but their general duties typically include:
- Administer medication and treatments
- Conduct assessments, take vital signs, and change dressings
- Observe patients and document care
- Educate patients on their condition and care plan
According to the BLS, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow faster than average by 2020, especially in long-term care facilities and home health care. The increased demand for home health care nurses is caused by the aging baby boomer population and a growing desire to be treated in the comfort of one's home.Read More
Job Growth for
Home Health Care Nurse
Becoming a Home Health Care Nurse
Most home health care nurses are registered nurses who have completed an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing or a diploma program. During nursing school, students will take many basic courses in the physical, social, and behavioral sciences as well as nursing courses to develop professional knowledge and skills. Additionally, students will complete clinical practicums to gain real-world nursing experience and try out different medical specialties.
Those who want to expand their basic nursing education to fit the needs of home health care nurse careers can do so by earning a certificate in geriatric care management, eldercare specialist, home health care, or another related specialty. Most students pursue these certificates after completing their RN or LPN/LVN degree or diploma program. Additional certifications are not always required for employment, but they can open the door for more exciting job opportunities in home health care. A typical geriatric care management or home health care certificate program includes courses in the following subjects:
- Issues & Concepts in Gerontology
- Communication in the Aging Network
- Overview of Geriatric Care Management
- Ethical, Legal, and Business Aspects of Geriatric Care Management
Upon completion of a RN or LPN/LVN program, graduates will prepare to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Candidates are granted licensure by passing the exam and completing state-specific licensing requirements. Continuing education courses are generally required or strongly recommended for nurses who want to maintain an active license in their state.