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Home Health Care Nursing Certification and Diploma Programs

Read about home health care nurse training programs. Learn about program requirements and courses, nurse licensing, employment outlook, salary info and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Home health care nurses help patients, such as the elderly or disabled, who require assistance at home for health-related challenges. A nursing diploma is one option for those interested in becoming a home health care nurse, though associate and bachelor's degree programs are more common and more widely accepted for licensure.

Diploma programs in nursing provide the full range of nursing education. Though not specifically tailored to home health care, the courses and clinical experiences in these programs may qualify graduates for licensure in some states and for positions in home health care (students should check state requirements for licensure). The programs typically take 2-3 years and are offered through community colleges. Coursework consists of classroom, lab and clinical training, which generally prepares graduates for licensure exams.

Program Coursework

A nursing diploma will cover certain categories of patients, such as family health or community health or adult health. Liberal arts courses may be incorporated into the program or may be a prerequisite for admission. Some topics covered include:

  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Skills for patient care
  • Pharmacology

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), registered nurses could expect job growth of 19%, faster than the average for all occupations, from 2012-2022. The increase in demand is due in part to an increasing emphasis on preventive health care and technological advances that allow more conditions to be treated. Those working in home health care services made up 6% of the workforce according to the BLS. Additionally, the average wage for home health care registered nurses were $65,120 in May 2013.

Continuing Education

Graduates of a nursing diploma program who have passed the NCLEX-RN exam will hold the title of RN. Further career training could take the form of on 'RN-to-BSN' curriculum which fills in the gaps between the credits earned for the diploma and those needed for the bachelor's degree. Licensing may be required to work for an agency that accepts government funding such as Medicare or Medicaid. Nurses should check with their individual state or agency for specifics. Master's degrees in nursing are available which include a focus on home health care nursing.

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