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Career Changes For Nurses. 5 Reasons to Consider Care Home Nursing

December 30th 2022

All nurses have the common goal to make a difference in the lives of those they care for, but not all nursing careers are the same. Although nursing in a care home is often overlooked as an option for a fresh start, nurses in care homes play an important role and are valued for their expertise. Are you a nurse who’s thinking about switching nursing jobs? Are you looking for a fresh and exciting way to apply your valuable nursing skills? Within the Select Healthcare Group, nurses are an important part of the smooth running of our care homes across the country. If you think you’re ready to change your nursing career here are a few reasons why you should consider being a care home nurse. 


What Does a Care Home Nurse Do?

In a care home, nurses may work with elderly or disabled residents who need long-term care or rehabilitation. They may also work with individuals recovering from surgery or an illness who need additional support before returning home. Care home nurses may be responsible for administering medication, monitoring the health of the care home residents, and providing support with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also coordinate with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, physiotherapists, and psychiatrists, to develop person-centred care plans for their residents.


  1. Nursing in a Care Home is Rewarding

Working in a care home as a registered general nurse offers the potential for a huge amount of job satisfaction. Unlike NHS nurses, care home nurses support people who don’t need acute treatment so the environment is less stressful. Often, care homes can offer nurses better shift patterns that provide a better work/life balance, which is always desirable. Choosing to work in a nursing home also means registered nurses can often receive higher rates of pay when compared to working in NHS hospitals. The person-centred nature of the job means you get to know residents a lot better and cater to them as individuals, rather than focusing on their ailments. 


  1. You’ll Find Career Development Opportunities in Care Homes

A nursing career based in a care home environment has pathways for further development. Within the Select Healthcare Group, many of our care homes are managed by registered nurse managers. There are plenty of opportunities for nurses who want to progress in their careers in care homes and gain the experience of managing a staff team and coordinating schedules among other duties. As well as becoming a part of the management team, as a registered general nurse you can specialise in specific areas like mental health nursing or become a specialist dementia nurse in a dementia care home. As a care home nurse, you may also need to meet additional requirements, such as obtaining specialised certifications or training, depending on the type of care home in which you will be working. 


  1. Life is Never Dull as a Care Homes Nurse

There’s a misconception that life as a care home nurse is not as exciting as the life of an NHS nurse and this doesn't have to be true. Working in a care home may not be as intense as working in A&E but it’s far from dull. Many care homes are hives of activity and there are many duties that can keep a care home nurse busy. Duties like leading the care team, record keeping, managing medication, performing assessments and creating care plans are just a few of the ways care home nurses stay active. Getting to exercise a variety of skills is another reason why former NHS nurses find working in care homes desirable.


  1. Experience a Different Level of Patient Interaction 

Being a nurse in a care home means you have a different type of relationship with the people you care for, unlike hospital nurses who rarely get to bond with patients. In care homes, nurses can build rapport with residents and their families since they have greater opportunities for interaction. As a care home RGN, you’ll be working with the same residents and you’ll have the opportunity to build trusting relationships that can improve their quality of life. Nursing in a care home provides holistic care that focuses on the overall well-being of the residents, rather than focusing on treating an ailment or injury.


  1. You’ll Develop Additional Skills as a Care Home Nurse.

With there being so many different types of care homes, nurses in care homes have the opportunity to enhance their skills by supporting different types of people with different needs. Care homes are very supportive environments that offer training opportunities to all staff including nurses. Specialist care homes like Palliative care homes or EMI care homes will need to have staff trained to support the complex needs of the residents. As a nurse in a care home, you will be a part of a multidisciplinary team of professionals and you’ll need to communicate with specialists to ensure your residents always receive the best care. Effective communication is essential in a care home and you will develop those skills and leadership qualities as nurses are often the only qualified professionals onsite. Being able to provide continuous care as a care home nurse also means you will have to work according to the CQC to ensure the home meets inspection standards.


A career as a care home nurse can be rewarding and fulfilling since you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of residents who need long-term care and support. If you are interested in becoming a care home nurse, it is important to carefully consider the necessary education and experience requirements, as well as the personal qualities that are necessary for success as a nurse in a care home. For more information about nursing jobs in care homes, visit our careers page or contact us online. 


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