private duty nurse

Private duty nursing

Private duty nursing is the planning of care and 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.

Private duty nursing was a far more widespread practice prior to the introduction (in 1964) of intensive care units where nurses provide care to a limited number of clients in what is usually a more high-tech situation.

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

Private duty nursing is distinguished from caregivers who are not nurses (RN or LPN) (often called "sitters" in the US) who provide semi-skilled care (bathing and other hygiene assistance, assistance with eating, etc.) and companionship to clients. Such sitters often do minor housekeeping chores for their clients, but they are neither educated nor qualified to provide skilled nursing care.


  • Private Practice in Nursing: Development and Management, ISBN 0-89443-158-7
  • Dare to Be Free: How to Get Control of Your Time, Your Life, and Your Nursing Career, ISBN 0-595-09855-X

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