Private Duty Nurse

How many nurses do you think there were in the United States in April of 2017? Include only RNs and LPNs in your guess. What would you say? Two million? Three million? Four million? More than that?

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently published a report containing the answer to the question. According to http://www.kff.org, there were 4,148,730 nurses in the United States in 2017. Of these 3,316,111 were Registered Nurses (RNs), and 832,619 were Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). There were also 1,534,400 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Now try to name fifteen places where nurses work. You know nurses work in hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care centers, community health centers, schools, and retail clinics. Don’t forget camps, homeless shelters, prisons, birth centers, sporting events, and tourist destinations. Nurses with advanced degrees work in research, colleges, and universities. Of course, many nurses work in HOMES as private duty nurses.

Some nurses who work in homes as private duty nurses are hired directly by the patient or family. Others work for agencies such as American Home Health. Who chooses to become a private duty nurse? What qualities must the private duty nurse possess?

In addition to excellent clinical skills, a private duty nurse must possess a number of other skills. For example, she must have the ability to work independently. She must be dependable and reliable. Since she will be going to the home of the client, she must have access to private or public transportation. The nurse must be able to respect and adapt to attitudes of different cultures. She must have good verbal skills in order to communicate with both the client and other family members. She must have the ability to write clear, concise, and legible clinical notes every two hours during her shift.

Many nurses who currently work for agencies had worked for years in hospitals and nursing homes. They have excellent clinical skills and are looking for a slower pace. They are seeking an opportunity to work one-on-one for an extended period of time with one child or one adult.

How do nurses learn about American Home Health as a potential employer? Below are some methods used to recruit nurses:

  • Word of mouth
  • Referrals by current employees. May include a referral bonus.
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Job fairs (e.g., Chicago MEGA Nursing and Healthcare Career Fair at Drury Lane, Oakbrook, Illinois)
  • Online job posting (e.g., www.indeed.com)
  • Help wanted ads in local newspapers
  • Direct mail to nurses licensed in Illinois
  • Agency web site (www.ahhc-1.com)
  • Mergers between home health agencies

—By Karen Centowski

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