Health care professionals include professionals who run diagnostic tests and provide direct patient care. Many people are drawn to this field because they want to help people.
Health care professionals, such as nurses, are also in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects opportunities for licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses to increase by nine percent between 2020 and 2030, while advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) see job opportunities grow by 45 percent during the same period. Nurses may work in hospitals, medical offices, schools, or nursing homes or provide in-home care. Let’s look at the education requirements for in-home nurses and the steps you can take to prepare for this career.
What type of education do in-home nurses need?
In-home nurses must complete a postsecondary nursing program and pass their nursing license exams. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) provide at-home skilled nursing services.
Becoming a registered nurse involves earning a nursing diploma, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Diploma and associate degree programs are two to three years long, while it takes four years to earn a BSN. After graduating from an accredited nursing program, aspiring RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), to receive their nursing license.
LPNs may begin their career after one year of post-secondary training. After earning a nursing certificate or diploma, LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
How can aspiring in-home nurses prepare for their careers?
Since in-home nurses must complete postsecondary studies, it’s best to start preparing for your career in high school. Taking chemistry, biology, and psychology courses will prepare you for required college courses. Aspiring nurses may also benefit from taking foreign language classes, enabling them to communicate with patients that don’t speak English.
You can prepare for your postsecondary studies by working with a college admissions counselor. These counselors offer college application help. They’ll review your college application and look for ways to strengthen it, increasing the likelihood you’ll be accepted to your dream school after graduation. Your counselor may recommend high school courses that will prepare you for your nursing studies. They may also identify extracurricular activities that will demonstrate you have the physical stamina and communication skills required to become a nurse.
Nurses also need critical thinking skills, compassion, interpersonal skills, and organizational skills. Hobbies such as blogging and podcasting demonstrate critical thinking skills. You can show college application review boards you have compassion through volunteer work. Volunteering with a soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity can also demonstrate you have physical stamina. Mentoring highlights your interpersonal skills. Volunteering as an event coordinator or serving on a leadership team will demonstrate your organizational skills.
What do in-home nurses do?
In-home nurses provide patient care in residential settings, enabling clients to remain at home while recovering from an accident or coping with illness. In-home nurses also work with elderly patients who require medical care or new mothers. Duties vary based on the clients’ needs.
In-home nurses may provide gastric feeding services. In addition to feeding clients through a tube, nurses also clean and maintain the feeding tubes. These nurses may also work with clients who have diabetes or require tracheostomy care. Their duties may involve testing blood sugar levels, giving patients insulin, and cleaning medical equipment. In-home nurses may also clean wounds and replace dressings to prevent infections.
Are there advancement opportunities for in-home nurses?
RNs can continue their education and earn a master’s degree to become nurse practitioners (NP). Nurse practitioner procedures for primary care include work in hospitals, clinics, medical offices or to provide in-home care.
In-home nurses must complete a postsecondary nursing program and pass a licensing exam. RNs, LPNs, and NPs can all provide in-home care.