Field Nurse vs. Nurse Manager in Home Health Care: What’s the difference?

So, you’re thinking about becoming a home health care nurse. Congratulations. A nursing career in home care can be deeply rewarding and endlessly interesting. And there are multiple opportunities to do the work you love and advance your career to nursing leadership roles if you desire. Field nurse or nurse leader? Let’s look at the differences.

What is a field nurse?

When most people think of a nursing career, they picture being a field nurse—a nurse who provides direct care to clients. This frontline care can be provided in a variety of settings including a hospital, nursing home, outpatient facility, and in the home. The home is a truly unique setting, where you get the opportunity to provide clinical care as you would in other roles, but with additional benefits that make it a truly rewarding career choice:

Personalized, one-on-one care: With in-home nursing, nurse-to-client ratios are always 1:1. You get to focus on one, specific client at a time, giving that client your undivided, undistracted attention.

Clients matched to your skills and interests: As a BAYADA Nurse you get to work with a wide range of clients — seniors, adults, even pediatric clients. You could be doing everything from caring for the unique needs of the elderly to helping a child through difficult times.Home Health Care Jobs

Full range of clinical skills: Caring for clients in their own home, you get to experience giving all kinds of care.

- Dressing wounds

- Taking vital signs

- Dispensing medication

- Giving respiratory treatment

- Providing catheter, ostomy care, and more

Complex care opportunities: Many clients’ homes are like mini-ICUs, with many of the same high-tech equipment and protocols as you experience in a hospital. For example, many BAYADA Nurses provide safe tracheostomy and ventilator care to their clients with critical care needs. No experience? No problem. Thorough, precepted training is provided should you want to advance your skills.

Relationship-building: In-home nursing allows you to develop close relationships with your clients and their families, so you’re feeling like more than a nurse—you’re family.

What does a nurse manager do?

Broadly, home health care nurse managers oversee a client’s total care as well as the team of nurses who provide that care. They must have strong leadership qualities, yet be compassionate, understanding, and flexible. They use the knowledge they learned as a field nurse combined with management skills to create the perfect foundation for their role.

In a home health care environment, responsibilities may include,

  • Conducting initial assessment of a client’s health condition to determine what services are needed to care for them at home
  • Developing initial plan of care with client’s physician and family and update as needs change
  • Updating and maintaining the client’s clinical record
  • Training, mentoring, and supporting the care teams, which may also include home health aides, therapists, and other caregivers in addition to nurses
  • Following up and performing ongoing re-assessments to ensure that the care is appropriate as needs change
  • Addressing and supporting the client’s clinical concerns
  • Ensuring ongoing collaboration with physicians and other health care providers
  • Performing supervisory visits to observe clinical proficiencies of the field nurse while with a client
  • Developing the staff to help them pursue the next step in their career

Looking to be a leader in nursing?

Some nurses prefer to spend their career at the bedside, providing direct client care—while others aspire to advance into leadership roles. In addition to having the desire, clinical skills, and experience, the ideal Nurse Manager should have some or all of the following:

  • Strong communication ability
  • Good critical thinking and organizational skills
  • The talent to juggle multiple priorities
  • Business acumen
  • Creative problem-solving skills

Chart your own path with our support

Whether you decide to stay closest to your clients as a BAYADA Field Nurse or eventually to assume a leadership/supervisory role as a nurse manager, BAYADA can help you meet your career goals. We champion your dreams and support your ambitions with training, scholarships, a team dedicated to your success, and much more. Apply today.

A Home Health Care Agency

About the Author

Founded in 1975 by Founder and Chairman Mark Baiada, BAYADA has become a trusted leader in providing a full range of clinical care and support services at home for children and adults of all ages. BAYADA remains true to Mark’s commitment to purpose by finding, training, and supporting employees who take pride and find joy in healing and helping.

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