Skilled Nurse

Skilled Nurse
This nurse visits a variety of acute and chronically ill patients who are “homebound” and in need of skilled nursing care under a treatment plan developed and signed by the patient’s physician. The nurse may perform a wide range of tasks from collection of a laboratory specimen to changing a dressing to administration of chemotherapeutic agents. While the focus is typically on the patient, interaction with family members and community agencies often takes place. The average number of visits expected per eight-hour day is seven.

There are no additional educational requirements beyond a basic licensure as a RN. However, most employers require or prefer at least one year of hospital experience, particularly in critical care. Certification is available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Competencies or Skills

Excellent clinical skills are essential. In addition, communication skills, including competency in teaching others how to carry out various procedures or self-care activities is extremely important. This nurse needs to have excellent assessment skills in order to detect early signs of potential or actual problems and alert the physician that a change in the plan of care is needed. Documentation of care is also important because of its relationship to reimbursement. The abilities to be self directed, work independently and work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team are also valuable. Being respectful of the patient’s s environment, culture, life style and resources facilitate cooperation and compliance with treatment.