No, hospice nurses are not the highest-paid in the nursing field. In fact, a good number of hospice nurses complain about being underpaid, especially when compared with all the complex and vital services they provide to their patients.
Most nurses who work in hospice consider that route a “calling”, and salary is nowhere near the reason why they chose it as a career. However, since even nurses have a family to feed, it is imperative you consider the potential salary to understand whether or not this nursing field can support your needs and also fulfill your passion at the same time.
Simply put, hospice nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who offer end of life care to terminally ill patients. These professionals work with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals within these final periods of life. They work in a variety of environments including private homes, residential care facilities, nursing centers, and other hospice care environments.
Owing to the intricate nature of the job, there are certain character traits a hospice nurse should have to be successful. Note that hospice nurses will need to have good observation skills and high ethical standards. They are expected to be resilient and sympathetic.
They also have to be emotionally and physically strong to handle the challenges of severe illness and death. Compassion and excellent communication skills are very crucial primarily because hospice nurses are expected to steadily educate families on ways to care for a loved one.
Also, pain management, skin care, signs and symptoms of death, medications, and side effects are all some of the basic insights you need to succeed in this nursing field.
How Much Do Hospice Nurses Make a Year?
According to reports, as of Sep 9, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Hospice Nurse in the United States is $39.14 an hour.
A good number of hospice nurses in the United States see hourly wages as high as $66.35 and some as low as $18.75, however, the majority of Hospice Nurse currently earn about $32.21 to $42.55 per hour. Note that the average pay range for a Hospice Nurse varies depending on certain factors, which includes;
5 Factors That Determine the Salary of Hospice Nurses
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Have it in mind that geographical location within the US influences the potential earnings of a hospice nurse. For instance, hospice nurses in Los Angeles and San Diego earn about 28% more than the national average, and this amounts to an increase of $17,000, while those in Orlando earn about 13%, or $8,227, below the national average.
A good number of big cities in Texas also earn above average salaries for hospice nurses with Dallas and Houston at 16% more and San Antonio at 6% more than the national average.
Hospice Nurse’s Responsibilities
For instance, a case management nurse will more or less earn a higher salary than admission nurses who only conduct as needed patient visits and complete the patient’s assessment data.
Have it in mind that a good number of case management nurses offer comprehensive patient care and also play the roles of triage and visit nurses. Also, have it in mind that those who work in hospice centers or hospital-based hospice care units are paid higher than those who work in home care.
Indeed, a career in nursing more or less requires the equivalent of an associate’s degree in nursing; however, a good number of advanced positions may ask for the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or even post-graduate study. Always remember that licensure is vital in most countries, although regulations and guidelines might differ by state or province.
Also, have it in mind that training and medical education may also be required to maintain a license. With varying regulations, the individual is expected to be conversant with the requirements in his or her geographic area.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Have it in mind that certain benefits like medical, dental, and vision insurance are commonly offered to those working in hospice nursing careers; however, a good number of them in the United States report no provision for health coverage by their employers.
Note that this may be due to disqualification for benefits owing to part-time employment. However, some employers in the United States also offer bonus pay, profit sharing, and company cars for travel to patients’ homes.
Hospice nurses are known to work in hospitals and clinics that may be private or publicly owned. However, just like it was stated above, those who work in hospice centers or hospital-based hospice care units are paid higher than those who work in home care.
But it still remains a female industry that may be stressful at times due to the handling of the terminally ill and their families. A good number of nurses report high job satisfaction that more or less comes from the inept nature of assisting others during a vulnerable time.
Just like you must have noticed, the salary for hospice nurses may vary but one thing is for sure: the income is not enough to compensate for all the emotional and spiritual perks that these professionals offer on a daily basis.
However, these nurses love doing their jobs without even considering their salaries which are not always adequate, considering all the sleepless nights they have to endure. In addition, they spend a good amount of time holding a dying patient’s hands and comforting the relatives that have been left behind.