Becoming a nurse can open many doors in terms of advancing your career, and it’s becoming increasingly common for agency nurses to capitalise on their skillset - making the transition from working in a ward environment to the world of agency homecare nursing. We’ll be speaking to agency home care nurses working with Direct Homecare about their experience of moving from the hospital into a homecare nurse job. Answers below have been edited where necessary for length and clarity. Today we’re talking with an Emergency Nurse who moved into a Homecare Nurse job with Direct Homecare.



1) Tell me about your previous role

I was a Band 6 Emergency Nurse. I do management, as well as frontline work, with admitting, assessing, triaging and administering care with a minimum of about 50-60 patients a day. I was in charge of the ward with 6 nurses and 4 nursing assistants as well as liaising with doctors for patient care and arranging bed capacities for patients.


2) What made you make the move

I decided to leave due to the fact that having worked with the NHS for 17 years and have loved it, but scheduling has always been a big hassle and also taking Annual Leave. I had had enough, and it felt a little unfair - so I moved on. 


3) How did you find the transition

It was hard in the beginning as a hospital base and a community base have a lot of differences. In homecare nursing you have to be more patient, as care can’t be accessed as quickly as when in the hospital, where you can independently provide care with the back up of doctors around. While in Homecare, although the care is more independent, you are still limited as everything will be dependent after a conversation with either GP, DN or other emergency alternatives. Overall you also have to be more flexible about your patients as it’s different from a hospital setting wherein they follow your rules but working in a homecare nurse job, it’s their will.


4) What do you like about your job now?

The best thing I think is that I can work when I want to and take days off or annual leave any time I need. My time is my time and that is something I really value in my homecare nurse job.


5) How is it different? And are certain aspects the same?

As I have pointed out already it can be self limiting in our competencies or capabilities, can be quite frustrating at times but the same thing with everything is that you get to care for your patient the best way you can with what you have, which in itself is very satisfying.


6) What are the biggest challenges?

The challenges I think come up with the patients or clients you get, your everyday encounter with them as it is always unpredictable, unlike in the hospital if you need some time away from the patient or can’t get through to them, you can call someone to help you deal with them. 


7) Any final words for someone considering moving from ward to homecare?

Having worked in the community both in a care home and as a homecare nurse, it has taken a lot of pressure off. My agency homecare job has allowed me to enjoy more time with my kids and enjoy life a bit more. The luxury of choosing when to work is the biggest plus.


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