Six months ago we were scrambling to hire experienced home nurses for our home care agency. Now we get from 5 to 15 inquiries a week as more and more Registered Nurses are hitting the pavement and seeking jobs as home care nurses, or other positions in home health care agencies. The surge can be attributed to several factors. Many retired nurses are going back to work as the economy has eaten into their retirement savings. Others are trying to make up the income of a spouse who may have lost a job. Ironically, the once recession proof medical community is being pinched by a downward trend in elective surgery which has resulted in employee layoffs.
The good news is that this abundance of nurses allows home health agencies to be more selective when it comes to hiring skilled nurses. Home health agencies are able to get better trained clinicians for elderly care which comprises the majority of their business. The new hires are better organized skilled nurses who have often had better management experience. Where we once were happy to get an RN with hospital experience, we now can hold out for nurses with home care experience who are better at assessing patients and working independently.