Home health travel nursing blends the best of two worlds: the thrill of exploring new places around the nation and the joy of providing expert, in-home, one-on-one care to patients. And with dozens of locations to choose from—say, gorgeous San Diego in the winter months or vibrant Boston during the summer—you can satisfy your desire to experience wildly unique worlds.

But what’s the best way to embark on a career as a home health travel nurse? And what’s essential to know about taking your skills on the road?

Here’s the comprehensive guide you’ve been looking for.

Understanding the Home Health Nursing Landscape Today

Home health care has exploded in popularity in recent years as more and more people in our post-pandemic world have permanently shifted to telehealth and the pleasure and convenience of receiving medical assistance from the comfort of their homes. Frequently deemed a cost-effective alternative to long-term rehabilitation centers and other healthcare facilities, home health care is increasingly seen as the way of the future. 

Whether you’re a seasoned home health nurse or have only recently given up the hospital hustle to provide in-home care, you’re likely aware of the leading factors driving the surge in home health care, namely:

  • The aging population
  • Technological advances
  • Escalated demand from patients

Fortunately, home health nurses aren’t confined to working only in their town or city of residence. As this niche in healthcare expands, so does the need for qualified providers who aren’t just willing to travel but are more than delighted to do so. 

Identifying Your Career Goals in Home Health Travel Nursing

You might be eager for an adventure. Or perhaps you want to live near a family member or partner for a short while to test out the place’s viability. Whatever the case may be, traveling the nation as a home health nurse isn’t only about personal enrichment—it’s also a fantastic way to develop professionally.

One of the smartest ways to find positions that align with your personal and career goals is to 1) partner with a dedicated recruiting agency (such as Host Healthcare), and 2) pinpoint your specific professional goals, as well as the steps you can take to fulfill them as a home health travel nurse.

Naturally, this will look different for everyone. For example, your goal may be:

  • Finding—or refining—a specialty – Home health care nursing is, of course, a specialty of its own, but you may be excited by the idea of honing in more. Perhaps you’d like to become an expert in palliative care or want to strengthen your oncology nursing skills by working with cancer patients in their homes. Determining this will help you (and your recruiter) decide on the places and positions that will bring you closer to realizing your objectives.
  • Expanding your professional healthcare network – If one of your leading career goals is to broaden your professional network, you might benefit from exploring travel home health nurse assignments in cities well-known for their state-of-the-art medical facilities, such as:
    • San Francisco
    • Seattle
    • San Antonio
    • New York City
    • Austin
  • Working in underserved communities – Interested in exploring a serene, remote locale while fostering healthier lives in a rural area? Not only would it provide much-needed care to marginalized patients, but it may also provide invaluable experience.

These are just three examples from an infinite pool. The point is this: Your predominant professional aims should influence where you take your home health care nursing skills—and how you put them to use.  

Developing Essential Skills for Success in Home Health Travel Nursing

You’re likely well-versed in the essential clinical (and soft) skills needed for home health nursing, from administering medications to managing wound care—skills that are likely highlighted in your home health nurse resume.

But what, exactly, is also needed when you’re on assignment?

This hinges on the type of assignment you select—as well as the location—but a few of the more universal talents you may want to refine include:

  • Cultural competency – Whether you’re working with a terminal patient in the final stages of their life or helping a patient recover from heart surgery, you’ll likely encounter a variety of people from equally varied backgrounds. And while you may be familiar with the cultural nuances in your home community, the new experiences and demographics afforded by travel nursing underlines the need to consistently demonstrate cultural competency. This may involve respecting your patients’ cultural perspectives when it comes to treatment (and beyond), utilizing the services of an interpreter, and/or remaining aware of your biases.
  • Adaptability – Working as a home health travel nurse demands adaptability—to new cities, yes, but also to new people and the homes they inhabit. One day, you may work with an Alzheimer’s patient who lives only with their partner; the next, you may be just one healthcare worker out of many in a big, bustling household. Approaching each day and assignment with a flexible mindset, self-confidence, and a desire to learn and grow can help you stay balanced.

Further, if learning a new language is on your bucket list, now may be the time to embrace it: Bilingual and multilingual travel nurses can be a huge asset. 

Building Your Professional Network in Home Health Travel Nursing

As mentioned, expanding your professional network is one of the greatest benefits travel nursing provides. Every new travel nurse job you take is a fresh opportunity to meet healthcare providers who may support you in your current endeavors or assist you in the future.

But how can you take advantage of this as a home health nurse when you’re not working in a traditional, clinical setting? Here are some ideas:

  • Leveraging social media to meet other travel nurses (and nurses, period) in your assigned location
  • Engaging with other nurses and healthcare professionals in online forums specific to your community
  • Attending in-person workshops and conferences
  • Making an effort to befriend the other healthcare employees who may be working with your patients, such as physical therapists, social workers, and primary care physicians
  • Volunteering at community events, such as marathons

Above all, take full advantage of the city where you’re temporarily working. A chance encounter with the person beside you at a cafe may lead to a long-lasting, mutually beneficial professional relationship.

Navigating Certification and Training Opportunities

How to become a home health nurse who takes their skills across the nation starts with obtaining a multi-state nursing license. This will enable you to work in 41 states around the nation—‘jurisdictions’ that are part of what’s known as the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and include everywhere from Washington to Florida. 

During your assignments, you may also want to level up your skills while you’re away from your home’s usual distractions. Consider attending training workshops and conferences unique to home health nursing, such as the:

  • California Association for Health Services at Home Expo
  • National Association for Home Health Care & Hospice (NAHC) Conference and Expo
  • Northeast Home Health Leadership Conference

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Growth in Home Health Travel Nursing

The role of a home health travel nurse isn’t without its unique challenges. Fortunately, by knowing what to expect, you can better prepare for things like:  

  • Unfamiliar commutes – As you know, home health nursing requires a significant amount of driving—a task that can be exacerbated when you’re navigating a new town or city. In addition to utilizing your smartphone’s GPS, research the best times to commute and ask your patient (or their loved ones) about any lesser-known routes.
  •  A good amount of paperwork – Home health nursing requires completing a substantial amount of paperwork. Since you’ll probably want to use your time off to explore your new digs during travel assignments, make sure to advocate for yourself and request proper internet access so that you can tackle all your paperwork between patients.
  • Potentially uncooperative patients (and unsavory conditions) – Maybe your patient is disgruntled by the fact that they must familiarize themselves with a new nurse when they “loved” the last one. Or, maybe you have to work in a home that’s…well, seen better days. Whatever situation you might find yourself in, remember the importance of adaptability, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Travel nurse recruiting agencies like Host Healthcare offer around-the-clock, warm, and helpful support—which might be precisely what you need after a particularly taxing day. Above all, remember that you’re in a unique position to make a significant—and meaningful—difference in your patients’ lives.

Elevate Your Home Health Nursing Career with Host Healthcare

Independence. Flexibility. Dynamic environments. New people. Fulfilling relationships. You certainly don’t need us to remind you that there’s much to love and appreciate about working directly with patients inside their homes. Add traveling to the list, and you can understand why more and more home health nurses are opting to pack up their skills and share them across the country.

Host Healthcare is perfectly equipped to help you streamline the process. Once your application has been approved, we’ll assign you a top-notch recruiter who’ll help you find the home health positions and locations that meet—if not exceed—your personal and professional goals.

Start building the life and career you deserve by applying with Host Healthcare today. 



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