Nursing is one of the most golden career options for medical students these days. There are various specializations in nursing and the most generous and exciting among them is the hospice nursing. With higher pays and growing employment opportunities, hospice nursing is becoming the hottest job options for all the registered nurses. The work of a hospice nurse is to treat the incurably ill patients who are at the end of their lives. They have to help those patients in living a comfortable and independent life as long as they live. The job of hospice is a little more than all the other types of nurses.
They not only have to take care of the patients’ health and medical requirements but are also supposed to provide emotional support to the patient and their family. They have a very crucial role to play as they have to make the families of patient feel comfortable about their death. The hospice nurse has to ensure that the quality of life of the patient is at its best in their remaining days.
Hospice Nurse Job Description
Hospice nursing responsibility is much more than just providing medical ailment to the patient. The job of a hospice nurse is to provide a palliative care to patients and help them in reducing their suffering and pain as much as possible. This means that the nurse has to work upon making the patient comfortable about his death rather than curing the patient. Hospice nurses may have to perform their job in a number of different settings. They can provide care to the patient in hospitals, in nursing homes or at the patient home as well. They also form the part of health care team which provides care to patients, monitor their health condition and advice about the patient’s scenario.
The main role of these nurses is to provide comfort to the dying patient both physically and emotionally. The job of a hospice nurse could be both emotional and demanding. Apart from all these duties, the nurse has to work on all the common nursing responsibilities as well. They have to monitor and record any vital signs in the patient’s health, performing and evaluating the diagnostic tests, maintaining accurate records and assisting the physician with treatment plants. Counseling and giving emotional support to the terminal patient’s family also form a part of the job of a hospice nurse.
Duties And Responsibilities Of A Hospice Nurse
If compassion, acceptance, and comfort are giving your traits then picking the job of a hospice nurse is the best option for you. It is true that the responsibilities and duties in hospice nursing are not ordinary and easy. You have to go through a lot of adventures in the process. If you are all set to experience a different nursing job where the main focus is to give comfortable death to the patient instead of curing then going for this profession can help you take your career to another level. Here are some of the duties and responsibilities that a hospice nurse has to perform:
- Carrying out diagnostic tests of the patient from time to time and assessing the reports.
- Monitor all the vital signs in the patient’s health and record them properly
- Making the treatment plans and assisting the doctors in the treatment
- Keeping check on the medical requirements of the patient
- Providing all the nursing care to the terminal patients by practicing their professional nursing skills
- Supervises and works with all the members in the team
- Gives medical advice and supervisions to the family of the patient
- Performs all the services as prescribed by the doctor
- Provides information about the patient’s health to the patients family
- Providing emotional support to the family of patient and making them comfortable about the death of their loved one
- Making the last days of the patient comforting and helping them reduce as much pain as possible and making him live a comfortable life
- Working in different settings like the hospital, patients home and nursing centers
- Setting up of the environment suitable for the patient to live in and taking care of all their medical needs
- Checking all the machines and medical appliances and making sure that they are performing in a right manner
The role of a hospice nurse is not confined to specific norms. Apart from all the nursing skills and professional practices a hospice nurse is required to be attentive all the time. They have to understand the situation and take actions accordingly. A hospice nurse must have critical thinking ability and must be highly organized. It is important that they remain calm under pressure, have good communication skills, and a compassionate heart. All these traits together make a good hospice nurse and will help them perform their duties in a better way.
Education Requirements Of A Hospice Nurse
There are separate educational requirements and qualifications to become a hospice nurse. To pursue certification in this profession, you will first have to become a registered nurse. All the registered nurses are required to hold a bachelor or associate degree to be able to pursue the education in hospice nursing. The candidates having a degree in masters of Science in nursing can also apply to the profession. They will have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). After this, you will have to gain at least a two-year experience in the hospice related field. The students will study in courses of physiology, chemistry, anatomy, and biology, etc. When we come to the certification and licensure, a registered nurse license is a must have.
Some of the states may also require national certification in hospice nursing. A hospice nurse can also pursue a master’s degree in hospice and palliative nursing to widen the scope of their carrier. The ones with a master degree are generally known as advanced practice nurses in palliative nursing. Once all the above requirements are fulfilled, a candidate is all set to be called a hospice nurse and practice their skills professionally.
Hospice Nurse Salary
With the increase in demand for the hospice nurses, their job opportunities and salaries are growing day by day. It is estimated that the employment growth in this field of nursing would see a hype of around 16% in the coming years. The salary chart of a hospice nurse has seen a great updation from the last decade. According to a survey held in the year 2014, the highest annual salary of a hospice nurse was said to be around $67,400 while the average annual salary of a hospice nurse in 2018 was said to range from $49,460 – $82,075.
However, the amount of salary may depend on various factors like the location, number of services required, employer, work experience and much more. With these given figures you can understand that the salary of a hospice nurse is much better than all the other categories. The annual earning of an average hospice nurse is $61,911 approx. The wide earning opportunity in this nursing profession makes it a good carrier option.
Hospice Nurse Salary Description
|Hourly Rate||$23.88 – $39.37|
|Overtime (Hourly)||$15.78 – $58.42|
|Bonus (Annually)||$0.00 – $9,763|
|Total Pay (Annually)||$49,460 – $82,075|
|Average Annual Salary||$61,911|
|Annual Hourly Wage||$29.58|
Apart from the salary, there are various other perks and compensations that make hospice nursing a satisfying job. The benefits that the hospice nurses receive besides their salary are bonuses, profit sharing, insurance facility, leave pays, overtime and many more. The pay of these perks depends on the payments laws and norms of the employer. If we talk about the estimates, then it can be said that a hospice nurse can receive an overtime pay of $15.78 – $58.42 per hour.
The bonus can also vary from $0.00 – $9,763 of the salary. There are various other allowances and perquisites that these nurses receive making their overall salary a quite handsome one. Since most of the hospice nurses are women, it is a lucrative job for them.
Most of the hospice nurses charge on hourly basis. The median hourly pay for people in this role is around $29.58 per hour. Among the various factors affecting the pay of this profession, geography is one of the key elements. The place where the nurse is providing her services is the deciding factor. The home hospice nurses are said to charge a bit more than the regular ones. Medical insurance and dental insurance is provided to many of the nurses. According to a survey, the job satisfaction is marked high by the people in this profession.
There are generally two types of hospice nurses, one is the certified nurses, and another one is advance certified nurses. When it comes to the salary pay, the advance certified hospice and palliative nurses are said to earn better than their counterparts.
Hospice Nurse Practitioner Salary Description
The salary of a hospice nurse practitioner ranges from $45,858 – $83,409 depending on various factors. The number of registered nurse practitioners are said to swell in the coming years, and their pay is expected to rise even more. However, the other factors like the experience of the practitioner, the location, specialty, and demand, etc. are said to influence the pay largely. Here are some of the classifications of a hospice practitioner salary depending upon these factors.
- Practitioner salary by experience- the nurse who has no experience or the experience is less than 5 years; their annual pay is estimated to be $60,000 whereas the person having experience of 16 to 20 years or more is said to earn more than $60k a year.
Thus it can be said that the nurse practitioner salary and bonus depends on various factors, but the pay is quite considerable overall. When it comes to the home hospice nurse salary, the figures are a bit more than the average pay. The kind of service client is availing, and the location of the residence of the patient also include in the factors influencing salary. If you are giving services in the highest paying states, then you can earn well in this profession.