dcsimg

Career Story: Visiting Hospice Nurse

Visiting Hospice Nurse

Job Title: Hospice Nurse

Type of Company: I work for a hospice agency that serves suburban Washington, DC.

Education: BA, Sociology, Mount St. Mary's College •• BSN, Nursing, George Mason University

Previous Experience: I worked for eighteen years as staff nurse in a cardiac telemetry unit.

Job Tasks: Our company's mission is to provide for the health and medical needs of people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hospice patients are patients whose condition is hopeless and who've been given less than six months to live. As a registered nurse (RN), I care for these hospice patients whether they live at home or at a nursing home or assisted living center, even at a hospital.

On an average day, I visit from one to five patients and have to travel to more than one location to do so. Visits start with a physical, where I check the patient's status and see if she's been having any pain (or experiencing any other problems). I often help her to organize her medicines and order more. If a patient wants something changed -- a dosage increased, for example -- I will help with that also. I coordinate these changes with a doctor, but my real imperative is to shield the patient from suffering and make her final days as comfortable as possible.

When I'm not paying actual visits, I coordinate the patient's care with a medical doctor (with a hospice specialty), a social worker, a chaplain and office manager (the official hospice "team"), and we meet on a regular basis to discuss these efforts and make sure the patient's cared for in the most effective possible way.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is caring for people and finding ways to make their final weeks more tolerable: to bring them joy or comfort or a little peace of mind. I get a lot of "thank you"'s from my patients and their families.

The worst part of the job is getting dragged out of bed at three o'clock in the morning because a patient needs me. Nurses, unlike doctors, still make house calls.

Job Tips: Registered nurses have a tremendous number of options open to them. You can work in a hospital or a doctor's office or a surgical center, or in home care or teaching or administration. The possibilities are almost endless. And it's an especially good job to have when you are trying to raise a family, because there are many part-time positions and you can work both nights and weekends. Nursing school, however, is a lot of work and you will need basic math skills (though you don't have to be a math genius).

Additional Thoughts: Nursing is a very fulfilling and satisfying job. And you can learn a lot doing it. But it helps to be compassionate.

Popular Schools offering Rn Registered Nursing Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master

As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Healthcare Administration (MBA), Nursing (RN to BSN), RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN), more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Certificate
Nursing@USC
Online

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing for Aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: Executive Master of Health Administration
  • Degrees: Master

About The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Programs: Professional Nursing Pathways Program, Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Administration
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

About University of North Carolina Wilmington

 

To meet today’s high demand for nursing professionals UNCW is offering an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program completely online.

  • Programs: MSN Nurse Educator
  • Degrees: Master

The University of North Florida is a nationally ranked university that offers a well-rounded education to students determined to make their mark and change the lives of others as well as their own.

  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice, RN to BSN
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Bachelor

Work toward your degree online with University of Cincinnati Online.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing - WomenÂ’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse-Midwifery, Master of Science in Nursing - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP), Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP), Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Registered Nurses

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104