1. McEnroe-Petitte, Denise M. PhD, MSN, RN, FAADN

Article Content

One wonderful advantage of being a nurse is the opportunity to select a preferred work setting. For those of us who have chosen home care, it brings unique opportunities as well as challenges. The International Home Care Nurses Organization (IHCNO) was founded to advance home care nursing around the world by providing a platform where home care nurses can support and learn from one another.


The practice of home care nursing builds on basic nursing skills in clinical, managerial, and advocacy areas. As with most care settings, specialty skills are required. Home healthcare is a rapidly growing area that involves health promotion, disease prevention, short-term acute care, or long-term care. Patients who require skilled care are typically initially cared for in hospitals, but with rapidly decreasing lengths of stays. After discharge, patients requiring skilled care such as dressing changes, intravenous medications, and education, often go to assisted living, rehabilitation, or even long-term care facilities. More often these days, many with skilled care needs are safely cared for in their homes. Patients who are in their homes need nurses who are able to meet their needs, which can be quite diverse.


Nurses who chose home care have professional needs: How will they:


* find appropriate resources?


* be educated in current evidence-based practices?


* access home healthcare guidelines and standards?


* be knowledgeable of national and international practices?



As a professional organization, one of the goals of IHCNO is to provide support to nurses in areas such as patient care, education, research, technology, culture, management, and administration. Staying current in home healthcare nursing is imperative. The IHCNO has experienced, knowledgeable nurse members who can serve as expert resources and who are willing to share ideas, welcome new and successful interventions, and analyze research from around the world. This knowledge can be shared through networking to promote and achieve positive patient outcomes.


IHCNO is seeking your input so that board members can respond to your specific home care nursing needs. You are invited to respond to these questions:


* What are your expectations of a professional home care nursing organization?


* How can the IHCNO best support you in your day-to-day professional activities?



Professional practice can be improved with the assistance and dedication of a professional organization. You are invited to participate in the IHCNO's mission to develop and support a vibrant worldwide network of nurses who promote excellence in providing optimal health and well-being to patients living in their homes.


Please assist IHCNO to help home care nurses by completing a survey focusing on how we can best serve you. Log onto the website and take a few minutes to share your thoughts and views. While you are there, see what else IHCNO has put into place. Perhaps you will be interested in one of the various volunteer activities that are listed on the website. Thank you in advance for completing this survey and please consider future participation in IHCNO. The IHCNO board members look forward to your responses and to welcoming your participation in the only international organization for home care nurses.