An NP or nurse practitioner is someone who went to a nursing school and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) course, became a licensed or registered nurse and worked as a nurse for at least two years, and then went to school for additional one to two years to learn the NP programs. There are different specialties and working conditions for nurse practitioners. Most positions are hospital-based working on rotating shifts providing coverage for days, evenings, weekends and holidays.
Some nurse practitioners, however, do not work in hospitals or medical facilities, but in private homes of patients in need of medical attention. Some home-based nurse practitioner’s jobs require that they “live-in” with their patients and some work certain shifts shared with one or two more nurse practitioners to provide round-the-clock care. Some nurse practitioners also do some house calls, especially in rural areas.
Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
A home-based geriatric nurse practitioner is someone who specializes in assisting elderly patients formulating, implementing and monitoring long-term care arrangements. This person can either be a “live-in” nurse practitioner, providing care for an elderly individual with a medical condition. At times, a home-based geriatric NP takes care of more than one patient, such as elderly couples or elderly siblings.
In some cases, they work with another nurse practitioner to split shifts and take certain days off in a week. In this scenario, the home-based geriatric NP can come in on their shift and go home when the other NP arrives. The children or relatives of the elderly patient often hire the geriatric NP through agencies or hospitals. The pay comes from health insurance, Medicare or from the family members.
Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
A home-based palliative care nurse practitioner is someone who takes care of a very sick individual trying to get better at home. This type of nurse practitioner specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms and stress of a serious illness. Palliative care can be a part of the treatment meant to cure the patient.
The home-based nurse practitioner is responsible for carefully administering and monitoring the medications needed to cure the patient. Oftentimes, cancer patients who opt to stay at home to get better or to spend their remaining living days with family, have nurse practitioners attending to their medical needs to ease the pain and provide comfort.
It is a requirement for the nurse practitioner providing palliative care to have at least five years of experience assisting terminally ill individuals in a hospital, hospice or home care facility. This position may require the nurse practitioner to work full-time as live-in, with days off covered by another nurse practitioner working part-time. This can also be a shared position by two nurse practitioners, especially if the case merits a round-the-clock monitoring of the patient.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
A home-based pediatric nurse practitioner is someone who specializes in taking care of a sick child. At times, the needs of a child are very different from that of an adult because a child sometimes cannot express her or his needs. This is a common scenario for sick infants or toddlers who can barely speak for themselves, let alone describe the pain that they feel.
The home-based pediatric NP should be experienced in administering the right kind of treatment and dose of medications; therefore, it is important for a nurse practitioner to have years of experience in a hospital’s pediatric department taking care of sick children prior to applying for this kind of job. The nurse practitioner should also work closely with parents in providing care for the child.