Nursing New Grads: Is Home Care the Right Fit?
Jumping into the nursing world after college can be stressful. From clinics and hospitals to community health and in-home care, there are a variety of career paths for a nursing graduate. Fortunately for new grads, the majority of nursing specialties are in high demand.
“Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations,” according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
“As pediatric home healthcare continues to grow, we are eager to bring on new grads who have received the most recent evidence-based education,” said Katrine Atlung-Blair, RN, Director of Clinical Services, Phoenix. “Specializing in pediatric home care is an ideal kick-start to any nursing career.”
So, what makes pediatric home care such a great opportunity for new nurses? We asked our recent nursing graduates about starting their career with MGA and here's what they had to say:
Home care offers one of the most flexible schedules in the healthcare industry. Compared to working in a medical facility, nurses are better able to dictate their schedule by being employed through a healthcare agency. This allows people the opportunity to do meaningful work with a schedule more accommodating to their specific lifestyle.
“My MGA team understands how hard nurses work and they treat us accordingly,” said Brandis Montez, RN, Colorado Springs. “I feel appreciated for my work and am cared for by my fellow team members. When you have a team that has your back, it’s easy to achieve a work-life balance that fits my lifestyle.”
There are a variety of home health jobs, ranging from private duty nursing to visit nursing, each with its own level of flexibility. Some nurses prefer to work three, private duty 12-hour shifts, while visit nurses might enjoy working more days per week, but with lighter shifts.
Opportunities to Learn
Between continued education events and specialized training opportunities, MGA Homecare strives to put the most qualified clinicians in the homes of our patients. With education as a priority, our team provides ongoing job-specific professional development events, ensuring all clinicians are up-to-date on the most recent medical procedures and certifications. On top of these training events, our home care teams receive all of the tools necessary to be successful, including:
- Access to Elsevier, our online education tool
- A tablet with KanTime, our patient management software for electronic charting
- Emergency procedure training
- Training on basic and complex nursing skills (e.g., wound care, trach/vent, and catheters)
“We host several trainings each year to check in with our nurses, make sure each is aware of current best practices, and ensure each has the ability to demonstrate proper care,” said Katrine Atlung-Blair. “Our most anticipated educational opportunity in Scottsdale is our Skills Fair – a three-day event focused on the continued education of basic and specialized skills.”
Connect with Patients and Families
Often times, MGA Homecare’s in-home nurses build positive and personalized relationships with the patient and their family. The comfort of the home allows nurses to connect with families on a deeper level and better understand their daily environment and ongoing needs.
“My team and I keep our patients and their needs at the heart of what we do,” said Jessica Hall, RN, Colorado Springs. “As a new grad, getting to interact with patients where they are most comfortable makes for an overall better experience. Plus, when getting to know mom or dad, it’s easier to talk plainly and honestly when they feel more relaxed.”
For some clinicians, being in the comfort of the patient's home makes all the difference when it comes to providing the best possible care. The convenience, warmth, and familiarity of home can make it easier for kids to feel relaxed around their nurses.
“Being in the home provides the opportunity to be part of the daily lives of my patients,” said Brandis Montez, RN. “I’m able to experience life with them on a personal level and share some of life’s most intimate moments such watching patients learn to crawl, take their first steps and even graduate high school.”
For those interested in pediatric care, in-home nursing teaches nurses the specific skills required to care for children with complex medical needs. At MGA, we strive to train our nurses to be experts in everything from more simple care practices such as managing feeding tubes, to more involved nursing needs like tracheostomy and ventilator care.
“A primary goal of ours is to continually educate our nurses and give them the opportunity to advance their career,” said Kodie Rabrocker, RN, Director of Clinical Services, Dallas. “Something unique about starting with in-home nursing is the chance to care for a patient with a rare diagnosis or learn how to treat a unique situation. Our nurses are constantly being trained on specific and difficult cases, which allows for quicker career advancement in comparison to a clinical setting.”