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How to Become a Private Duty Nurse

With the nursing field growing quickly, becoming a licensed private duty nurse promises to be a rewarding career choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nursing jobs will grow faster than other occupations in coming years, at a rate of about 12%.

If you’re looking for a career path and are passionate about caring for others, a degree in nursing offers a sound and fulfilling future.

What is a Private Duty Nurse?

A private duty nurse, also referred to as a visiting nurse, is a professional caregiver with a degree in nursing who works primarily for one person at a time, taking care of them in their own home. As a private duty nurse, the person you care for usually needs some level of medical service and assistance with day-to-day activities, yet they want to remain in the comfort of their home. Some visiting nurses may even reside in the home several days per week to provide around-the-clock specialized care.

If you’re interested in becoming licensed or working as a private duty nurse, please reach out. We’re happy to talk and offer guidance and opportunities for a secure and rewarding career.

Steps to Becoming a Private Duty Nurse

The first thing you must do to become a private duty nurse is to attend a nursing school program.

LPN Licensing — To become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you’ll enroll in a course that covers all practical nursing skills, which can be completed in a few months if you study full time. After passing the NCLEX-PN exam, you’ll be ready to work as an LPN.

RN Licensing — To become an RN, you must complete a two-year associate degree, then pass the NCLEX-RN to earn your certificate. If you continue your education to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a similar field, you may have more job opportunities and be able to earn a higher income.

Both the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN are graded pass-fail. You can take them up to eight times per year, and you must pass within three years of your program completion to earn your license.

Real World Experience

It’s also beneficial to have a variety of real-life experiences, which you may seek out before, during, or after your educational program to deepen your knowledge in the field and elevate your ability to get a more advanced visiting nursing position. These may include:

  • Working with a hospital
  • Hands-on client care
  • Clinical experience with families in need
  • Medical internship working with wound care and medical equipment
  • Relevant bedside experience (during a job or internship, or with a loved one)

This additional experience and set of skills will enable you to more quickly transition to the job after your education.

Characteristics of a Quality Visiting Nurse

Certain personality traits and characteristics will help you be a quality private duty nurse and find a passion for your work, including:

  • Compassion and caring for others
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Understanding and calmness during end-of-life care
  • Ability to deliver personalized care services
  • Friendly demeanor
  • Neatness and organizational skills

Private Duty Nurse Job Outlook

After completing your college degree and earning your Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) license, you’re ready to move forward and begin working in the field. The outlook for a private duty nurse is favorable, with plenty of opportunities to work for a private client. Some of the visiting nursing services you may perform are:

  • Wound care
  • Managing chronic and acute conditions
  • Emergency care
  • Tracking oxygen levels, heart rates, and other vital signs
  • Administering medication
  • Developing client care plans
  • Assisting with daily living activities
  • Providing conversation and companionship
  • Hospice care

You can expect to earn a good wage or salary for your skilled nursing care. In addition to a salary, many private duty nursing positions offer medical and dental insurance, a 401k benefit, and flexible scheduling.

Private duty nursing is a personally fulfilling and financially rewarding job for those who are interested in delivering excellent, compassionate, one-to-one care.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career or finding a position as a private duty nurse, get in touch with us at Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services today, for valuable guidance and opportunities.

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