Private Duty Nursing

With home care services one of the fastest growing job categories today, private duty nursing is a type of home care service that is unknown to many nurses. Because the aging population has money to spend on home care staff, private duty nurses are needed to take care of the elderly, as well as care for children who have chronic or debilitating health conditions.

Although it may not even be mentioned in many nursing programs, private duty nursing can offer a registered nurse an opportunity to provide the best care possible in a more personalized setting. Some are employed on a live-in basis, assisting elderly after they can no longer take care of themselves. Others work on-call for a family who has a child with a chronic disease. Private duty nurses also work for agencies or as private contracts, and some work as private psychiatric nurses for maternity nursing in the home, short postpartum hospital stays, and multiple births increasing in numbers.

Early on, nearly all of the graduates of United States schools of nursing were employed in private duty nursing, usually taking on patients with communicable diseases like typhoid fever after joining their school’s alumni association at graduation. Nurses worked in the home for several months because that is what patients needed. However, public health improved and the demand for long-term home care declined.

Private duty nurses must have a sense of humor, excellent manners, and adaptability, as well as the ability to establish a professional but warm relationship between the patient and family. They must also be independent, creative, and self-directive in order to be successful in this profession. Some private duty nurses choose to work in an agency, which may specialize in maternal/child, pediatric, or geriatric care.

If you want to start a career in private duty nursing, you need a nursing degree. Consider an online LPN to BSN degree or an online RN to BSN degree if you’re already a nurse. Otherwise, compare these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
» Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

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