Home Health Care and Hospice Nurses


Employment Prospects


The National Association for Home Care and Hospice represents 33,000 home care and hospice organizations that employ more than 2 million nurses and other health care providers. These health care providers often have training programs for prospective employees. Home health and hospice nurses might also find employment with hospitals that operate their own community outreach programs. Most hospitals, however, hire through agencies.

Starting Out

Home care and hospice nurses must first become registered nurses by completing an educational program and passing the licensing examination. Once registered, nurses may apply for employment directly to hospitals, nursing homes, companies, and government agencies that hire nurses. Home care and hospice jobs can also be obtained through school career services offices, employment agencies specializing in placement of nursing personnel, or state employment offices. Other sources of jobs include nurses' associations, professional journals, and newspaper want ads.

For a list of employment prospects, search the Internet for agencies that provide health care to senior citizens and people with disabilities or family service. Many agencies or nursing care facilities offer free training to qualified employees.

Advancement Prospects

Additional experience and education often bring higher pay and increased responsibility. Home health care and hospice nurses may advance to management or supervisory positions. Those who would rather continue to work with clients may branch into more specialized care or a related field and pursue additional training. Other possible fields include social work, physical or occupational therapy, and dietetics.

Tips for Entry

In high school, visit a local hospital and talk to hospice nurses or go to a home health care agency and learn about the jobs that their nurses do.

Volunteer with a visiting nurse service or at a hospice to experience the environment and become familiar with the needs and care of patients.

Visit Web sites of nursing organizations, such as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, to read professional journals, news articles, and general information on the field of hospice nursing.

Become familiar with the latest news and trends in the health care industry, including the Affordable Care Act and government health care programs.

Visit http://aahpm.org/career/job-mart and https://careers.advancingexpertcare.org for job listings.