Home Care Nurse Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Home Care Nurse, or Home Health Nurse, is a Registered Nurse that visits patients at home to provide medical and personal care. Their primary duties include administering medication, monitoring and reporting a patient’s condition to their physician, and assisting with personal grooming and hygiene.

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Home Care Nurse duties and responsibilities

Home Care Nurses have many duties and responsibilities to ensure they provide the best care to their patients, including:

  • Travel to patients’ homes to provide medical and personal care 
  • Administer medicine 
  • Inspect wounds and change dressings 
  • Assist with personal grooming and hygiene tasks 
  • Test for things like infection, weakness, and bedsores 
  • Collaborate with Physicians to create personalized healthcare plans 
  • Help educate other caregivers and family members on how to care for the patient 
  • Monitor patients and keep their treating physician in the loop
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What does a Home Care Nurse do?

A Home Care Nurse provides personal and medical care at a patient’s home. Their patients are typically elderly, dealing with disabilities, or may be bedridden, so they may be unable to leave their homes or prefer not to visit a hospital or doctor’s office. Thus, a Home Care Nurse must provide medical care at their home by doing tasks such as administering medicine, changing dressings, and checking blood pressure. Home Care Nurses may also assist the patient with their personal grooming and hygiene by bathing them, changing their clothes, or helping them in and out of bed. Home Care Nurses also work with the patient’s physician to develop a healthcare plan, and ensure the patient and their family are kept up-to-date.

Home Care Nurse skills and qualifications

Home Care Nurses work with bedridden, elderly, or disabled patients who are able to live in the comfort of their own home instead of a hospital or long-term care facility. Some prerequisite skills and qualifications every Home Care Nurse needs include:

  • Ability to work independently 
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills 
  • Great interpersonal skills 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication 
  • Ability to empathize with patients 
  • Able to provide physical and emotional support 
  • Active listening skills 
  • Up-to-date knowledge of medical practices and equipment

Home Care Nurse experience requirements

In addition to the necessary education, Home Care Nurse candidates should have experience in a traditional nursing role. Working in a hospital, doctor’s office, or other large care setting gives candidates hands-on experience while other Nurses and Physicians are there to help. This prepares candidates to work on their own in patients’ homes.

Home Care Nurse education and training requirements

Home Care Nurses must first be a qualified Registered Nurse to perform their job. To do this, candidates in every province and territory except Quebec must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In Quebec, candidates must have a three-year Diploma of Collegial Studies in nursing or a higher designation. Once candidates finish necessary schooling, they must obtain a nursing license for the province or territory they want to work in. For example, candidates in Ontario must register with the College of Nurses of Ontario. Finally, to become certified, all Canadian candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Exam.

Job salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Home Care Nurse in Canada is $117,474 per year. This salary varies and is dependent on experience, location and the client or agency.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Home Care Nurse is not quite what you’re looking for, some other relevant job descriptions include:

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Home Care Nurse job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Nurse and a Home Care Nurse?

Nurses typically work in a hospital or doctor’s office to provide patient care. Home Care Nurses are Registered Nurses and follow the same academic path to start their careers. The difference between the roles depends on their work environment. Home Care Nurses choose to help patients in their homes instead of a hospital, doctor’s office, long-term care facility, or another healthcare setting. The only difference between the two is the environment in which they work and the health concerns they typically manage.

Who does a Home Care Nurse report to?

Home Care Nurses typically work for an agency. The agency connects Home Care Nurses with patients, handles scheduling, and manages other administrative tasks. Patients or families contact the agency who then assign a Home Care Nurse to provide support. Some Home Care Nurses are self-employed, so a patient or their family can hire a Home Care Nurse directly who reports to the client or their family members.

Where do Home Care Nurses work?

Home Care Nurses spend most of their time visiting various patients’ homes. If needed, Home Care Nurses may also provide care at the patient’s workplace or school. Home Care Nurses also work in doctor’s offices or hospitals to communicate with the patients’ physicians and healthcare team.

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