Those wanting to become a home health nurse should possess specific education and skills. Beyond needing a nursing degree, candidates should have specific experience and be able to perform a wide variety of tasks. Individuals looking to become a home health nurse should be confident, friendly, and trustworthy.
A home health nurse provides care for individuals needing additional care at home. They provide the same level of care that many come to expect from a nurse in a hospital setting. Among their responsibilities are tasks such as taking vital signs, collecting laboratory specimens, and administering medications. Home health nurses also assess the ongoing need for medical care and help coordinate at-home care.
Individuals looking to become a home health nurse need to meet minimum education requirements. To complete these requirements, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent. After high school, those looking to become a home health nurse should enter a nursing program. These programs can be found at local colleges, universities, and in some hospitals.
The completion of a nursing degree is paramount to the successful attainment of a home health nursing job. Nursing programs typically take approximately four years to complete, but each program is different. After completing a nursing program, candidates wishing to become a home health nurse will need to take a nursing certification exam.
Certification will provide evidence of a candidate’s knowledge and expertise as it relates to the field of nursing. The certification exam is typically a written examination, but some certification boards may require evidence of practical experience. This can be satisfied with proof of college internships and coursework related to on-the-job training.
Home health nurses may also be required to have specific experience. Many employers may request that those applying to become a home health nurse spend time working as a nurse in a hospital environment. This is to gain experience in life-saving techniques and allow new nurses to gain confidence in emergency situations.
Those looking to become a home health nurse should also possess some basic skills. This includes the ability to communicate effectively to both the patient and their caregivers or family. Home health nurses should feel comfortable teaching family members basic care skills and communicating any difficulties with a physician. In addition, home health nurses should be friendly and be able to work with minimal supervision. Other traits that will help someone succeed as a home health nurse include being detail oriented and motivated to meet the needs of all patients.