Home health nurses provide medical care for patients who are physically disabled or are otherwise unable to leave their homes. In many cases, home health nurses serve patients who are dying and have opted to receive hospice care in their home. The expected average pay of home health care nurses varies depending on their title and level of training.
LVNs and LPNs
Licensed practical nurses, also called licensed vocational nurses, usually need between six months and a year of college training before becoming licensed. As of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that LVNs and LPNs earned an average salary of $42,400 per year. About 11 percent of LPNs and LVNs worked in home health care services, earning a slightly higher average salary of $43,920 per year.
Registered nurses typically have either an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing. In most states, RNs are able to provide more complete medical care than LPNs and LVNs; as such, they tend to make more money. In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that registered nurses in all types of facilities brought home an average of $67,930 per year. By comparison, RNs employed by home health care services reported a slightly lower average salary of $65,530 a year.
Nurse practitioners typically provide primary care, much in the same way as a family physician. To become a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse who already holds a bachelor's degree must complete a master's degree or doctoral degree in nursing. In 2012 nurse practitioners reported an average annual income of $91,450 to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 3 percent of NPs were employed by home health care services in 2012, and reported a substantially lower average salary of $82,300 a year.
Nurse midwives are registered nurses who have had advanced training related to childbirth and pregnancy, typically with a master's or doctoral degree. Only about 60 nurse midwives worked for home health care services in 2012. However, they were rewarded handsomely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nurse midwives working in home health made an average of $104,240 per year, the highest in the field and nearly $13,000 more per year than the national average of $91,450 reported by nurse midwives in all employment situations.