Private Duty Nursing Programs

Private Duty Nursing refers to the practice of providing personal healthcare to patients in their homes or hospitals. These nurses are paid by the patients and are responsible for serving only one patient at a time. They may be either registered nurses (RN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN) who perform not only professional but also supportive roles.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Administering medication on a regular basis
  • Monitoring blood pressure and sugar level
  • Giving injections
  • Wound care and management
  • Monitoring and reporting changes in general medical condition
  • Providing post-surgical care
  • Caring for patients who are dependent on advanced technology equipment like respirators
  • Providing personal care, help with meal preparation, and other day to day activities

Private duty nurses work in collaboration with the patients, families, and physicians to develop and implement appropriate healthcare plans. These services are often prescribed by physicians for elderly and senior adults as an alternative to moving into retirement homes, or for those patients whose physical and mental condition requires additional care. Private nurses may also be employed to take care of children who suffer from disabilities or chronic health conditions. They work both part time and full time depending on the patient needs and requirements.

To become a private duty nurse, you will have to earn a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. The degree may be an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The ASN is normally a two years program, which will provide you with basic clinical knowledge and required skills for nursing practice. The BSN typically takes four years to earn, and it focuses on some advanced theories and leadership skills. After you have acquired your degree, you will have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Passing this exam qualifies you to start practicing as a professional nurse in your state. The license will have to be renewed after every five years.

The licensure requirements for private and home nursing may vary depending on the state where you want to work. Therefore, you should contact your respective state department of health to find out about the specific requirements and regulations. To gain specialized knowledge, you could enroll in an on-campus or online private duty nursing program, also commonly known as home health care programs. These programs are usually offered by community and vocational colleges, and are designed to provide career specific skills and training.

Although some private duty nurses work independently by finding clients on their own, others approach local health care agencies and nursing registries for help with seeking employment. It might be a good idea to build a customized portfolio that contains your education and licensing history, details of services that you offer, and referral letters from your past clients. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the May 2012 median annual wage for registered nurses was $65,470. Also, the BLS estimated the job growth rate for registered nurses to be 19% from 2012 to 2022.


Q:What is private duty nursing?

A:Private duty nursing is a field that focuses upon one-on-one care with individual clients. Most private duty nurses work with patients/clients on a self-employed basis and provide medically necessary services. In most cases, patients receiving services from a private duty nurse are dependent upon medical services such as nasogastric tube feedings and mechanical ventilation.

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