A nurse’s journey from acute care to home health

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A home health nurse in PPE takes a patient's blood pressure

By Tina Robertson, RN, BSN
Regional administrator

Every nurse’s journey is different. Many incoming nurses have an idea of what field they would like to go into, but it doesn’t always mean that’s where they will stay for the remainder of their careers. Luckily with nursing, transitioning between fields is an option that’s open to us all.

My first nursing job was in the emergency department as a student nurse apprentice after completing my first year of nursing school. After graduating, I decided to stay in the emergency department and started working as a full-time registered nurse.

The ER ended up being my home for more than eight years. Much of my hands-on experience came from my time in the acute care setting. I was constantly challenged to make quick clinical judgments regarding my patients, which also helped develop my critical thinking skills.

Although the experience I gained was invaluable, I realized that I was starting to crave a sense of normalcy. My husband and I were both hospital nurses working 12-hour shifts, as well as weekends and holidays, in addition to raising three children.

I started looking for a healthcare job that would be a better fit for my family’s schedule and would allow my husband to stay in the hospital setting. As I began to search, I was immediately drawn to the flexibility that home health provides.  In 2010, I decided to take a leap of faith and transition over to home health, where I started as a case manager with Encompass Health. At Encompass, I found the regular schedule and work-life balance I was looking for, and I was able to be a full-time mom after work and on the weekends. 

August 2020 marked my 10-year milestone in home health. Over those 10 years, I have been rewarded with some amazing opportunities at Encompass Health. In 2016, I was offered the opportunity to become a branch director. I then moved on to become an administrator, and I am now a regional administrator for the Company.

I will always be grateful for my experience in the acute care setting. I truly believe it equipped me with the skills I needed to confidently transition to the home health setting and ensure that my patients were receiving the highest quality of care.

However, my transition to home health and finding a company like Encompass Health was exactly what I was searching for.

I have never been part of company that feels like home as much as Encompass Health does. The branches I oversee are like my family. I love coming to work every day and interacting with all of my co-workers.

There is a true sense that we are all in this together not only on a local level, but the national level as well. It still amazes me that in a field where so many employees are working remotely, our culture is able to thrive and we remain such a close-knit team.

If you are considering a career change, I encourage you to take that leap of faith like I did. Do your research and find a field and company that best supports you. It may be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

The content of this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical conditions or treatments.