The last few years have been challenging for nurses, the most trusted professionals in Australia*. In 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International College of Nursing found 90 percent of national nursing associations were concerned that “heavy workloads, insufficient resources, burnout and stress” were causing nurses to leave the profession. 

Closer to home, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward, CEO of Australian College of Nursing, said “nursing, already under pressure, is reaching breaking point due to the pressures of COVID-19 and a disjointed healthcare system, including the acute, primary and aged care sectors.” 

These pressures, along with a desire to help people before they need to be admitted to hospital, has opened up different paths for nurses to provide care without compromising on their own wellbeing. One of these paths is running a home care business in the local community.

Home care: a fresh alternative to the health system

Home care – providing health care and support services to people in their home – is fast becoming a major growth industry in Australia. By 2023 the government will fund 275,000 Home Care Packages for seniors who wish to age at home, while the NDIS supports around 500,000 people with disability, providing $22b of funding each year.

Bill Lockett, Franchise Manager of Home Caring, said running a home care business an ideal way for health professionals to turn their skills into a successful business that suits their lifestyle.

“Since COVID hit, I’m seeing many health care professionals transition out of the health system because they can no longer provide the care patients deserve, as staffing levels and long hours have taken their toll,” said Mr Lockett.

“Many of them have found success as home care business owners. Their passion for caring and years of experience makes them ideal candidates, and we support them to grow a successful business providing the kind of care they’ve always valued, right where they live.”

Build a strong business with Home Caring

As a winner of the 2021 FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards, Home Caring provides individually tailored home care to seniors and people living with disability, including government Home Care Packages and NDIS services.

The franchise operates a unique partnership model, where Home Caring and the franchisee each invest 50 percent to establish the new business. “You only need to provide half the total investment, as we provide an equal share. This also includes a generous salary package so you can focus on growing your business,” said Mr Lockett. 

“We also have options for suitably qualified health professionals to access up to 85 percent of the finance required, so they can get a foot in the door.”

Home Caring also provides each franchisee with plenty of support, including operational support, location visits, business planning, compliance, marketing assistance and comprehensive training to navigate the complexities of Australia’s disability and aged care sectors.

 “Our head office is always available to our franchisees,” adds Mr Lockett. “We have an open-door policy, which means you are never alone as our dedicated support team are here to help.”

Most importantly, nurses are given a chance to make a difference in their community. After working for 44 years as a Registered Nurse, Jo Sheehan took the leap and opened a Home Caring franchise in December 2021 in her home town, Tea Gardens, New South Wales.  

“I seized an opportunity to start my own business because I wanted more autonomy to not feel constrained in the way I provided care, and I wanted to do the right thing by the community,” she said.

 

Ms Sheehan said her experience as a nurse has been invaluable, especially when it comes to understanding her clients’ diagnosis and prognosis, providing services like palliative care and liaising with health care professionals. 

 

“Since I started the business, we’ve had extraordinary support from the community. We’re well linked to the GPs, community nursing, palliative care team and hospital discharge teams,” said Ms Sheehan.

 

“I still see my role as nursing, but its managerial and I’m working for myself. I get a great deal of satisfaction from supporting the community and each day I’m satisfied in what I’m able to achieve.”