A nurse’s career path from acute care to home health

Caring for communities

Every nurse’s career path is different.

Many incoming nurses have an idea of what field they would like to go into, but it doesn’t always mean that’s where they will stay for the remainder of their careers. Luckily with nursing, transitioning between fields is an open option.

A nurse’s career path to home health

My first nursing job was in the emergency department as a student nurse apprentice after completing my first year of nursing school. After graduating, I decided to stay in the emergency department and started working as a full-time registered nurse.

The ER ended up being my home for more than eight years. Much of my hands-on experience came from my time in the acute care setting. I was constantly challenged to make quick clinical judgments regarding my patients, which also helped develop my critical thinking skills.

Although the experience I gained was invaluable, I realized that I was starting to crave a sense of normalcy. My husband and I were both hospital nurses working 12-hour shifts, as well as weekends and holidays, in addition to raising three children.

It was time to change this nurse’s career path.

I wanted to find a health care job that better fit my family’s schedule and allowed my husband to stay in the hospital setting. As I started searching, the flexibility of home health nursing immediately drew me in.

In 2010, I decided to take a leap of faith and transition over to home health, where I started as a home health nursing case manager with Enhabit Home Health & Hospice.

At Enhabit, I found the regular schedule and work-life balance I was looking for and I was able to be a full-time mom after work and on the weekends. 

Working in home health care

August 2020 marked my 10-year milestone in home health. Over those 10 years, I have been rewarded with some amazing opportunities at Enhabit.

In 2016, I became a branch director. I then moved on to become an administrator and I am now a director of operations for the company.

An acute care nurse’s career path quickly shifted to a leadership career path.

I will always be grateful for my experience in the acute care setting. I truly believe it equipped me with the skills I needed to confidently transition to the home health setting and ensure that my patients were receiving the highest quality of care.

However, my transition to home health and finding a company like Enhabit was exactly what I was searching for.

I have never been part of company that feels like home as much as Enhabit does. The branches I oversee are like my family. I love coming to work every day and interacting with all of my co-workers.

There is a true sense that we are all in this together not only on a local level, but the national level as well. It still amazes me that in a field where so many employees are working remotely, our culture is able to thrive and we remain such a close-knit team.

If you are considering a career change, I encourage you to take that leap of faith like I did. Do your research and find a field and company that best supports you. It may be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Tina Robertson

This article was written by Tina Robertson, RN, BSN. Tina is now a director of operations for Enhabit Home Health & Hospice.

To learn more about career opportunities at Enhabit, search our open career opportunities near you or sign up for job alerts by texting “CARE” to 98199.

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