Private duty nursing

Private duty nursing is the care of clients by nurses, whether an RN (Registered Nurse) or LPN/LVN (Licensed Practical Nurse).

Most nurses who provide private duty care are working one-on-one with individual clients. Sometimes such care is provided in the client's home, or an institution, such as a hospital, nursing home or other such facility.[1]

Private duty may be paid by private pay, private insurance, managed care organizations, medicare and medicaid. Many of the private duty nursing cases involve pediatric patients on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that have long term illnesses such as Cerebral Palsy (CP)and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Many of the patients have Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube), Tracheostomy Care (Trach), or Ventilator (Vent). The private duty nurse are in many cases Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN).

Many private duty nurses are self-employed, work as contractors and many work in the ever growing field of Home Care. The practice of private duty nursing was in many senses a precursor to a rise (in the 1980s) of wider-scale nurse entrepreneurs.

Non-medical care could be provided by the nurse but is most often provided by unlicensed assistive personnel such as nursing assistants, home-health aides, sitters, professional homemakers, or other titles. These caregivers often do minor housekeeping chores for their clients, but they cannot provide skilled nursing care.


  1. Private Practice in Nursing: Development and Management, ISBN 0-89443-158-7
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