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How to Become an Independent Home Health Care Provider

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Independent home health care providers are trained health care professionals, such as nurses or nursing assistants, who visit patients at home to provide basic medical care and help them feel more comfortable. Their patients find it difficult to support themselves, typically because they suffer from a long-term condition.

Earn a high school diploma. This is mandatory if you want to become a certified provider. You can work without certification, but the services you provide are less respected.

Complete the certification program of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). This involves 75 hours of learning, including practical sessions and skills demonstrations and culminates with a written exam. Once passed, you are a certified home nursing assistant.

Get a training post. Look for a position in a nursing home or home help company that offers on-the-job training. Typically, you work under the guidance of registered nurses or more qualified home care workers. You gain practical experience, learning about how to work with the elderly and terminally ill, administer medication and change dressings.

Apply for a license. Contact your state’s licensure office and ask for advice. Rules vary between states, though typically you need a high school diploma, completion of the certification program and evidence of some practical experience. Once you have your license, you can work as an independent home health care provider.


Nursing assistants are only qualified to perform basic tasks. If you want to provide more in-depth assistance, apply to a nursing college. You can attend full-time or even part-time, so you can continue to work as a home nursing assistant while you study.


Continue attending training courses so your practices do not become out-of-date.

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