1. Humphrey, Carolyn J.

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In my December 2003 Editorial I shared the outcome of the Home Care Nursing Forum held at the October 2003 National Association for Home Care (NAHC) annual meeting. The meeting's overall goals were to:


* identify issues critical to professional home care nursing practice through a proactive constructive discussion, and


* iinitiate a plan to advance home health nursing practice to its highest level.



What's Happened Since Then?

The Forum's leaders, Dr. Paula Milone-Nuzzo, Jeanie Stoker, Karen Utterback, and I, have been acting as a task force to address the action plan resulting from the meeting. This month's Editorial shares our activities since the meeting and asks for your input and assistance.


Addressing Forum Recommendations

Assure home health nursing's value by encouraging home health nursing certification


Jeanie Stoker and I spoke with the Director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) who had read the December Editorial. The ANCC administers all certification exams, including the exam for home health generalist and specialist. The Center is currently conducting a review of all certification programs and the report will be completed in the spring of 2005. It will include recommendations of which certifications will be continued and which will be eliminated. Jeanie and I communicated all the ideas and input from Forum members to the ANCC and emphasized that a central theme was that home care certification be open to RNs without a BSN.


Clarify HHNA's current status with NAHC


The task force has frequently discussed this and an initial discussion has been held with NAHC's President, Val Halamandaris. Discussions are continuing and there will be an update at the fall Forum meeting.


Encourage agencies to partner with local colleges in numerous ways and encourage clinicians and managers who have developed model programs that address identified problems to publish them in HHN


Several articles have been published in HHN this year and more are forthcoming that address both these goals. As the only monthly peer-reviewed journal for clinicians and clinical managers, HHN solicits and publishes articles that help readers share ideas that will elevate home health nursing practice to its highest level. The partial list of articles follows:




* An Agency-University Partnership: Focus on Late Life Depression


* 10 Steps to Developing University and Agency Partnerships




* Home Care Nurses' Perceptions of Agency and Supervisory Characteristics: Working in the Rain (an HHN original study)




* Better Safe Than Sorry: One Agency's Successful Safety and Security Strategies




* Involving Patients in Decisions About Their Care: An OBQI Project




* The Effectiveness of a Nurse-Led Transitional Care Model for Patients with CHF


As HHN enjoys its 22nd year of publication, we've only begun our work to elevate home care nursing practice. We're compiling an e-mail list of interested nurses who want to be involved in the forum. If you signed up last year, please resend your contact information (name, home address, and e-mail) to (put "HHN Forum" in the subject line). A second Forum will be held at this year's NAHC meeting, October 23 to 27, in Phoenix, Arizona. We need to see you there!! For those unable to attend, a report of the meeting will be published in HHN in early 2005.


In this election year-get involved and vote!! Bring that enthusiasm and involvement to home care nursing by helping to build a Forum network. Both activities will be a great investment in both you and your patient's future!!