Private Nurse Options for Home Health Care


What can a private nurse do for you or mom or dad in a home environment? You'd be amazed. A nurse such as this is also known as a private duty nurse.

Private duty nurses are licensed, trained, and registered practical nurses hired to work on a one-on-one basis with patients in a variety of environments. Those environments can include hospitals, institutions, a private home, long-term care centers, and skilled nursing facilities. 

While some nurses may work with home health care agencies or local nonprofit public organizations, the majority are self-employed, otherwise known as independent contractors. That means that they market and promote their services on their own, and you can find them through websites, the Better Business Bureau, or in the phone book.

What services to private nurses provide?

Services provided by nurses depends on the needs of the individual. In home-based environments, which is by far the most common working scenario for a nurse, such services include but are not limited to:

  • Oversight of medications
  • Evaluating, assessing, observing, and recording symptoms, changes in condition, and improvement or decline of a condition
  • Providing dietary supervision


  • Providing access to and maintaining proper use of medical supplies and equipment including hospital beds, therapy equipment, oxygen supplies and equipment, catheter or ostomy supplies and equipment, and so forth.
  • Act as a go-between for the patient and the patient's primary care physician or other medical support staff
  • Wound care including the changing of dressings, assessing healing, and preventing infection

These are just a few of the services that a private nurse can provide, again based on need and scenario. 

How do you find a private nurse?

When looking for a private nurse, it's important to focus on credentials and background information. Finding a listing of local visiting nurses is not difficult through the Internet, local organizations, word-of-mouth, or in the phone book. However, know the type of information you should ask or be able to find out about the visiting nurse so that you hire one who is fully capable, trained, and experienced in providing the care for you or a loved one that you desire.

For example:

When setting up interviews, let the person know that you're going to be conducting a background check not only for criminal background, but the sex offender’s registry, the elder abuse registry, and through the DMV. The DMV check is especially important if the nurse will be providing any sort of transportation services for yourself or a loved one.

Transportation to medical or dental appointments, shopping, visiting friends, or social events are just a few of the transportation services that a nurse often provides. A visiting nurse should not object to this.

Ask the visiting nurse to provide three verbal or written references of prior clients, employment locations, or other verifiable background information that ensures that the visiting nurse has the experience you need.

A nurse should have experience and training in caring for the disabled, the physically challenged, the elderly, and providing the compassionate care and comfort required by those diagnosed with dementia.

Last but not least, it's important to find a nurse who'll get along with you, or your mom or dad. When you find one or more candidates who have the training that you're looking for, it's time to have them meet the person they'll be providing services and care for.

Watch the interaction between the two carefully. A private nurse should be able to get along well with any client. Open communication, understanding, and cooperation are essential in providing high-quality services and ensuring that you or a loved one will find it easy and agreeable to follow the nurse’s instructions when it comes to your care.

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