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Authors

  1. Riekert, Susan A. MSN, RN

Abstract

The home healthcare nurse is a concept that has grown rapidly in the past two centuries, however, the role and meaning remain ambiguous. Continuous changes in the healthcare system have sparked confusion with patients and healthcare providers as to the essence of the home healthcare nurse. With the popularity and demand for home healthcare-based care on the rise, it is necessary to differentiate the concept of the home healthcare nurse from other related terms through a concept analysis. Using Walker and Avant's methodology, a literature search using Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) along with dictionaries, encyclopedias, and professional organizations was performed to identify all the uses, attributes, and characteristics of the concept. Five defining attributes emerged during the analysis: autonomy, adaptability, person-centered holistic care, care coordination, and self-efficacy. Antecedents, consequences and empirical referents were identified. As a first step, this concept analysis brings clarity to the meaning and role of the home healthcare nurse from which arose an operational definition and proposed conceptual model. With the number of patients admitted to home healthcare accelerating, healthcare organizations and clinicians must distinctly understand the concept of the home healthcare nurse. Future research should include testing theoretical relationships between the home healthcare nurse and patient outcome variables to enhance nursing science and promote population health.