Private duty nursing

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Private duty nursing is the care of clients by nurses, who may be licensed as RNs (Registered Nurses) or LPNs/LVNs (Licensed Practical Nurses).

Most nurses who provide private duty care work one-on-one with individual clients. Such care may be provided in the client's home or in 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, or Medicaid. Many private duty nursing cases involve pediatric patients on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who have long term illnesses such as Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Many patients need care for a Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube), Tracheostomy (Trach) or Ventilator (Vent). Private duty nurses are usually either Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVNs). Medicare does not pay for private duty nurses.

Many private duty nurses are self-employed or work as contractors. Others 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 can be provided by the nurse but is most often provided by unlicensed assistive personnel such as nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care attendants, sitters, professional homemakers, or individuals with other titles. These caregivers often help with hygiene and housekeeping tasks for their clients, but they cannot provide skilled nursing care.


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