Many individuals require at-home, specialized care from a medical professional. The private duty nurse is a role that fulfills this need.
In this blog, we will explore the following:
- What is a private duty nurse?
- What does a private duty nurse do?
- Where do private duty nurses work?
- What kind of traits does a private duty nurse have?
- How do you become a private duty nurse?
- What is the salary outlook for private duty nurses?
What is a private duty nurse?
A private duty nurse is a registered nurse who provides patients with one-on-one, long-term care in their homes. They take care of a patient’s basic, daily needs and help with chronic health problems. Private duty nurses aim to help patients stay within their homes and live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
What does a private duty nurse do?
A private duty nurse provides many vital services to their clients. Some of these include:
- Assessing changes in the medical status of patients
- Managing chronic illness
- Administering medications
- Helping with daily living activities
- Creating treatment plans for patients
- Making diet plans for the patient
- Providing hospice care
- Completing patient care documentation and other paperwork
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. The private nurse plays a crucial role in the health and vitality of their patients. Additionally, private duty nurses attend doctor’s appointments and other outings with the patient, such as family events.
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Where do private duty nurses work?
Private duty nurses typically work in the patient’s residence. They also can work in hospitals or assisted living facilities.
What kind of traits are necessary for a private duty nurse?
A private duty nurse offers vital support for their patients. They need to possess certain traits to work effectively in this role.
Dealing with clients or patients who are sick and in need of help doing basic tasks can be frustrating, especially when the patient doesn’t want to cooperate.. Having the capacity to help your patients and not grow irritated when they are slow at something will help you in the long run.
Attention to detail
Private duty nurses need to pay close attention to different information within their scope of practice. Specifically, they have to know when a patient’s mood alters or when they are exhibiting medical changes that need care.
All nurses need to have understanding and empathy. However, the private duty nurse has a little more intimate interaction with the patient. They are the primary caregiver and someone who builds a strong bond with the patient. Having compassion and an ability to form a close, yet professional, relationship with another person is critical.
4 Steps to becoming a Private Duty Nurse
Becoming a private duty nurse can take a few years. The complete steps are listed below.
Step 1: Earn a nursing degree
Potential private duty nurses have two degree options to choose from: the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You can receive your associate degree in two years at a community college. Your bachelor’s degree will take about four years at a college or university.
Step 2: Become an RN
Once you graduate from your nursing program, you’re ready to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This test will decide whether you receive your RN license. The test covers eight areas of care. These include:
- Management of Care/Coordinated Care
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Physiological Adaptation
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Reduction of Risk Potential
- Safety and Infection Control
The test costs approximately $200 if you want to work in the U.S. The RN exam has a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265. RNs have six hours to pass the exam.
Step 3: Accrue bedside experience
Step 4: Obtain your certification
Though there isn’t a specific certification requirement for private duty nurses, you can obtain other certifications to increase your chances of earning a job in the field.
To keep your nursing license, it’s crucial to renew your license every couple of years (depending on your state’s rules). Renewal will require taking continuing education classes.
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What is the salary outlook for private duty nurses?
How much private duty nurses make depends on a few different factors like experience, location, and education. However, in general, the private duty nurse makes about as much as other registered nurses make.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private duty nurses make about $82,750 per year.
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