There has been a noticeable shift in the nursing profession in recent years, with many nurses opting to transition from hospitals or acute care settings to home health care. This trend is not surprising, considering the changing dynamics of health care, the high burnout associated with working through the pandemic, and the ever-present and increasing demand for more personalized, client-centered care. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that home health care is one of America’s fastest-growing industries, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 5% for 2014–2024, which equals approximately 760,400 new jobs. Many nurses have decided to pursue the numerous benefits and opportunities available in home health care, knowing they can continue in a career they love while providing comprehensive, individualized care to clients in the comfort of their own homes. Below are some reasons behind, and the benefits of, transitioning from a hospital setting to in-home health care.
Several factors contribute to nurses switching from hospital nursing to home health care. First and foremost is a nurse’s desire for a more intimate and personalized client care experience. When working in hospitals, nurses have minimal time to spend with each client one on one due to high client volume, high acuity, and demanding schedules. By working in home health care, nurses can dedicate more time to each client, which allows them to build stronger relationships and thereby provide more comprehensive care. Working with clients daily within their homes will enable nurses to witness the direct impact of their care. Nurses can observe progress and improvements firsthand, which can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling.
The transition from hospital to home health care offers another huge advantage in providing greater flexibility regarding working hours and schedules. Nurses can work full-time or part-time and work with their clients to make a schedule that is agreeable to both. This greater control over their work-life balance is particularly attractive to nurses that have families or may be going to school to further their education.
One of the biggest pulls for a nurse toward working in home health care is simply being able to leave behind the hospital or acute care setting. According to nurse.com, nurse-to-patient ratios have drastically increased to dangerous levels since the onset of the pandemic. This overload is just one of the many new challenges for nurses presented by the pandemic. Physically, home health care is less demanding on nurses, which can be an excellent transition for tired nurses who work 12-hour hospital shifts with little to no breaks. Also, nurses shifting to home health care can avoid bureaucratic obstacles common in hospital settings and focus solely on their clients.
Home health care is not just beneficial to nurses; clients greatly benefit from receiving care in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own homes. Home health care allows for personalized attention as nurses can tailor treatment plans for each client’s needs. Additionally, clients often experience improved outcomes and faster recovery times due to the personalized nature of their care.
According to the statistics and projections from the National Bureau of Labor and the Health Resources and Services Administration, the need for nurses skilled at providing care to clients in their homes is growing. So if you’ve ever considered a career change to home health care and are ready to reap some of the benefits of a change, now is a perfect time to consider a career in home health nursing.