Private duty nurses care for patients in their own homes. They monitor their patient's health and behavior, provide medical care including administering medication, and assist with daily activities including showering, toileting, and running errands.
Most private duty nurses work for elderly clients, but some provide care for younger patients, especially those with chronic disabilities or diseases. Private duty nurses need an eye for detail and critical thinking skills to identify problems with their patients and solve them quickly. Superior organizational skills help them multitask. Compassion and patience are also essential qualities.
Private Duty Nurse Job Education Requirements
Private duty nurses must have at least a registered nurse or licensed practical nursing degree. They must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their nursing license and have a valid driver's license to transport their patients whenever necessary. While not required, many employers favor private duty nurses with at least a year's experience working as a nurse.
Private Duty Nurse Job Market
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not give specific statistics for private duty nurses, but this department predicts jobs for all registered nurses will increase significantly by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022. However, with hospitals predicted to release patients earlier in future, it's likely the demand for private duty nurses will exceed growth for all registered nurses.
Private Duty Nurse Job Salary Information
On average, private duty nurses make approximately $22 an hour. Annual salaries vary significantly, from $25,200 on the low end to $82,155 on the high end. Most earn between $65,000 and $70,000 a year. Salaries vary depending on the nurse's client and the hours required.
Private duty nurses are typically paid less than registered nurses working in hospitals and other medical facilities, however many in the profession feel this pay cut is a reasonable trade-off for more relaxed shifts and regular hours.