Is there a resource to find a nurse who will travel to rural areas?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 30, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is there a resource to find a nurse who will travel to rural areas to get a person up in the morning (1 hour of care)?  Rural SE Minnesota specifically.

Expert Answers

Finding visiting nurses in rural areas is tough wherever you live, so I understand your challenge. You didn't mention what town the patient lives in, or near, but I suggest starting by asking at the nearest hospital or medical clinic. Explain your situation and see if they have services that can help, or if they can refer you to some place (or some one) who can. You can also do an internet search with the name of the patient's town or county plus the words "visiting nurse," or "community nurse." Be prepared to get lots of employment agencies looking for nurses to work for them, which may confuse you. (It did me when I did a search just now.) Many of these are national agencies facing such a nurse shortage they recruit all over the country, in every state. But keep looking for organizations or agencies that provide nursing care.

I did find one website that may be a big help for your specific situation. This is the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association. You should call them directly to ask for advice or referrals. One consideration: Are you sure a nurse is required for this morning duty, versus a personal assistant or nursing aide? I would suggest asking the patient's doctor if a nurse is needed, or if someone less skilled would be fine. If you don't need a nurse, you can broaden your search by asking at churches, senior centers, and community organizations for referrals of people who may be interested in the job. Here's a handy checklist of interview questions when hiring in-home care. Finally, it's always a good idea to check with the local Eldercare Locator serving your patient's community. This is a government-run program that gives referrals to local senior services, including organizations or agenices that provide a range of types of in-home care.