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Hiring and Retaining Home Care Nurses

Mitchell, Leslie Jo, BSN, RN, COS-C, HCS-D; Oermann, Marilyn, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000467

Home care agencies are tasked with finding increasingly cost-efficient care processes to improve the quality of patient care outcomes. Hiring and retaining nurses who are well suited for home care are important factors that can influence the cost and provision of quality care in the home. The purpose of this article is to identify characteristics of home healthcare nurses that enable them to be successful home healthcare team members and leaders. A search of the literature was conducted to compile a list of questions with which to screen home healthcare nurse applicants for the required knowledge and skills as well as to improve retention rates of nurses hired. The nature of home healthcare practice makes nurse qualification screening and interviewing a challenge. To assist hiring managers in the screening and interviewing of nurse applicants in this challenging environment, we identified targeted interview questions that will help discern those nurses who are most likely to succeed and be productive, long-term members of the home healthcare agency.

Leslie Jo Mitchell, BSN, RN, COS-C, HCS-D, is a Graduate Student at School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Marilyn Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, is a Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing and Director of Evaluation and Educational Research at School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address for correspondence: Leslie Jo Mitchell, BSN, RN, COS-C, HCS-D, PO Box 7004, Wilmington, NC 28406 (

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