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What do Home Health nurses do?
(found programs from 45 schools)

Chris O'Brien received her BSN from Auburn University and her Master's in Public Health degree from Emory University. With a background in cardiac care, home health, nursing research & education, and medical writing, she now enjoys the dual paths of being a freelance medical writer and yoga teacher in Decatur, GA.

A type of community health nursing, home health care involves evaluating, treating, and teaching patients in their homes. Most home health patients are admitted shortly after being discharged from a hospital. They still require nursing care, but they are well enough to go home with skilled clinical services in place to keep them healthy.

Freedom and Autonomy

Some of the benefits of working in home health are frequent change of setting, lots of autonomy, and less office/desk time than many jobs. While you do have the freedom to create your own schedule, you also have to consider the time it takes to complete a home visit along with the time spent driving and writing nursing notes. Home health nursing is probably not the best job for someone fresh out of nursing school, but if you are sufficiently experienced and value independence and autonomy, you may want to consider looking into it after you've had a few years of bedside clinical experience.

Potential Risks

In many ways home health is an extension of hospital-based nursing-in most cases allowing patients to be in a more comfortable setting. Yet, not all homes and/or communities are ideal for a person who is ill. Some homes and communities can be downright inhospitable. While working in home health, I sometimes encountered filth and criminal activity. When issues that I didn't know how to deal with came up, my nursing peers and supervisors were available for advice, assistance and support. Their help got me through any rough spots, often with a little much needed laughter or story-swapping to put things in perspective. And, in spite of the occasional tough situations, I still have great memories of the years I spent as a visiting nurse because I learned new problem-solving skills and was able to help my patients to do the same.

What you can expect

In a typical day I would see six geriatric patients and would drive about 30-50 miles throughout Metropolitan Atlanta. Urinary catheters, decubitus ulcers, and patient/family teaching were a big part of each day's work. I also drew blood frequently and transported it to various labs. Since phlebotomists typically do this task in hospital settings, most nurses don't know how to draw blood from a vein. This skill was something I learned while in home health care. Additionally, as a home health nurse, writing clear notes and establishing measurable goals is crucial for the job. Notes can be time consuming, but they're necessary. They should always be accurate and provide evidence of progress. Clear writing is important, since nurses manage each patient's case and other disciplines (PT, OT, or Speech Therapy) may need to know how things are going from the nursing perspective. In general, in home health care, no one is really looking over your shoulder, so the best nurse for this job is self-motivated and disciplined.


Useful Resources



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Full List of Online Adult Programs:



Angelo State University (San Angelo, TX)
Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Nursing, RN-MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Nursing
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult Health
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Clarkson College (Omaha, NE)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Delta State University (Cleveland, MS)
Program Name: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Adult/Family)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Felician College (Lodi, NJ)
Program Name: MS in Nursing - Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Program Name: MSN - Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ)
Program Name: M.S. in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - Adult-Gerontology (accepts only AZ, CO, FL), M.S. in Nursing: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist: Adult-Gerontology
Idaho State University (Pocatello, ID)
Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist - Adult Medical-Surgical
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (Hammond, LA / Lafayette, LA / Lake Charles, LA)
Program Name: Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult/Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Kaplan University - Online (Hammond, LA / Lafayette, LA / Lake Charles, LA)
Program Name: Adult Gerontology Practitioner Certificate
Loyola University New Orleans Online (New Orleans, LA)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Maryville University (St. Louis, MO)
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing- Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
Minnesota State University-Moorhead (Moorhead, MN)
Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD)
Program Name: Masters in Nursing (Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner)
New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)
Program Name: Medical Surgical (Adult Health) CNS
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Radford University (Radford, VA)
Program Name: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey-Newark (Newark, NJ)
Program Name: Acute Care of the Adult and Aged (NP or CNS)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Montgomery, AL)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Tampa, FL / West Palm Beach, FL)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Savannah, GA)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Post Graduate Certificate in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, RN to MSN Bridge - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Columbia, SC)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
St. Louis University (Saint Louis, MO)
Program Name: Adult (NP CNS or Nurse Educator), Adult Acute Care NP
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist - Adult Medical-Surgical
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Little Rock, AR)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Cincinnati - Online (Cincinnati, OH)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
University of Michigan-Flint (Flint, MI)
Program Name: DNP - Adult Nurse Practitioner, DNP - Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Program Name: Post-Masters DNP - Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Saint Francis (Crown Point, IN / Fort Wayne, IN)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care NP, Adult Health CNS, Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Palliative Care Specialty, Advanced Emergency Nursing (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Dual Role), Geropsychiatric (Adult Psych NP/Gerontological NP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL)
Program Name: Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
Program Name: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner - ANP, Adult Nurse Practitioner/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - BSN Track Adult Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - RN Track Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
Program Name: Master of Public Health - General, Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Military Families & Culture, Master of Science (M.S.) in Human and Social Services - Public Health, MSN - Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (RN Track), MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (BSN Track), MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN Track), MSN- Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (BSN Track)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited