Post-acute nurses find more satisfaction in career, report shows

Pay and benefits for home care, hospice, palliative care and long-term care nurses haven’t always been on par with nurses who work in the acute setting.

But that has changed for post-acute care nurses in the past five to 10 years, according to Andrea Devoti, MSN, MBA, RN, executive vice president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

There are many areas of the country where employers’ salary and benefits packages for these other nursing roles match or are getting close to matching what they offer acute care nurses. That’s because more employers realize that home care, hospice, palliative care and long-term care patients often are as sick as those in the hospital, Devoti said.

“We take care of sick people,” Devoti said. “We take care of ventilated children. We give chemotherapy. We give intensive care level drugs in some cases.”

Employers’ greater awareness of the complexities of taking care of patients outside the hospital setting is timely, given many want to add the post-acute care services because of increased demand.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reported in its Palliative Care Needs 2018 Survey Results that out of 347 responses from hospice and palliative care member organizations, 53% are providing palliative care services and an additional 35 are considering developing these services.

Only 12% have no plans to develop palliative care services, according to the report and

Nurses in acute care, home care, long-term care and other healthcare settings say salary is most important for job satisfaction, followed by benefits, according to our 2018 Nursing Salary Research Report.

The survey represents responses from 4,520 RNs from 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Although nearly three-quarters of the nurses surveyed ranked salary as the No. 1 aspect of job satisfaction, 15% indicated benefits, including medical and tuition reimbursement, were most important for work satisfaction.

Nursing salaries for home care, hospice, palliative care and long-term care nurses are close to those of nurses in the acute care setting, Devoti said.

In general, these post-acute care nurses might earn $1 per hour or so less than nurses in acute care but that’s better than the pay disparities of $5 or $6 an hour that Devoti said she used to see.

Employer benefits for home care, hospice, palliative care and long-term care nurses often rival those of the acute care setting, but not always, she said.

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Topics: Leadership , Staffing , Uncategorized