Private duty nursing is a type of home care that is underused and often misunderstood. Many people may not be aware of how this type of skilled, hourly nursing can benefit their loved ones. Learn more about private duty nursing and whether your loved one qualifies.

What Is a Private Duty Nurse?

Private duty nursing allows medically fragile patients to receive quality, skilled nursing care in the comfort of their home: a setting preferred by most patients and their families.

Private duty nurses provide long-term, comprehensive hourly nursing care and are skilled in managing medical equipment and technology. A patient will have a nurse in the home anywhere from 4 to 24 hours per day. Private duty nursing is also sometimes referred to as continuous skilled nursing or block shift nursing.

Who Needs a Private Duty Nurse?

Private duty nurses take care of patients of all ages. They can be children who require medical care due to a congenital condition or disease, as well as adults who need continuous care for conditions such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, or after a stroke.

Here are some examples of medical conditions that warrant private duty nursing:

    • ALS
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Birth injury
    • Failure to thrive
    • Congenital disease
    • Rare disease
    • Multiple comorbidities

What Does a Private Duty Nurse Do?

A private duty nurse provides one-on-one care tailored to a patient’s unique health challenges and needs. These nurses are skilled at performing physician-ordered clinical interventions for patients with complex medical needs including:

Which Insurances May Have the Private Duty Nurse Benefit?

Often this benefit is separate from a typical home health benefit. Private duty nursing is covered by a variety of health insurances, such as:

  • Commercial insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Managed Medicaid
  • Tricare
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Worker’s compensation

The process to verify benefits and obtain authorizations can take more time than a typical home care authorization, so it is important to start to inquire about private duty nursing as soon as possible if you believe that a patient may qualify. Time is needed for the private duty nursing agency to find a nurse who is available and specifically trained for a patient’s unique needs.

How to Know If a Person Qualifies 

Home healthcare agencies are available as a resource to help you determine whether your patient qualifies for private duty nursing. Some even specialize in working with insurance companies and obtaining authorization on the patient’s behalf.

Maxim Healthcare Services specializes in private duty nursing care. Contact your local office to learn more and see if you qualify.