Skilled nursing vs private duty nursing

Most nurses have the same or similar amount of training, certifications, and skills when it comes to providing care. However, it is often the patient that requires one type of nurse over the other. What is the difference between a private duty nursing and skilled nursing?


Private duty nursing provides long-term, 24-hour care for patients, providing companionship and live-in care when needed. Skilled nursing focuses more on assisting in the healing of short-term ailments, such as illnesses, instead of chronic diseases.

So, which do you need and when? Let’s dive into their similarities and differences.

For a private duty nurse

All practicing nurses have various certifications, such as being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN). However, the certifications and skills of the types of nurses are not all the same.

There is no specific certification needed to be a private duty nurse but having these qualifications will certainly help with the job, and many people looking for this type of care will look for someone with the correct skills. While certifications might not be needed, it is not easy to become a nurse in any sense of the job. Even a private duty nurse will have gone to nursing school and received an Associate of Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as pass the NCLEX-RN.

Private duty nursing types of care

A private duty nurse in Rockville will serve their patients in a much more active manner than a skilled nurse. They often provide live-in care, meaning they stay with their patient all hours of the day. This is usually given to the elderly or adults with chronic illnesses who live alone. However, it is important to know that a private duty nurse can be hired to assist a family as well.

While parents are often the primary caregiver of their children, sometimes a child requires more professional care. This can be hard on the parents because they often want to provide for all their child’s needs, but it is simply too much at times. Private duty nurses can become teaching aids for children and help them learn and develop in a more personal way.

When providing care for the elderly, they often assist in giving medication, tracking treatment plans, providing hospice care, and planning and helping with activities. Private duty nursing provides patients with more complete and personalized care.

Often, the nurse will become a part of the family, whether their patient is a child or the elderly. They not only care for them but become true companions and friends to their patients, which in turn helps with their work and the patient’s health.

Having an illness or ailment or something of the sort can be very alienating. A private duty nurse can be the kind and caring force in a patient’s life that keeps them connected to their family and the world.

Cost of private duty nursing

A registered nurse costs an estimated average of $31 an hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Insurance coverage varies significantly, but to give an example, United Healthcare defines PDN as nursing services provided in the home by a professional and covers 10% with the limit of 1 visit of 8 hours. This obviously contradicts the nature of PDN established earlier, but different insurance companies will deal with it differently.

It might seem a little difficult to find a private duty nurse, but there are plenty of resources online that will assist you in finding the perfect care for you or your loved ones.

Skilled nursing

The most fundamental difference between these two types of nursing is the location where the services are provided. While a PDN provides care in the home of their patient, a skilled nurse practices in a nursing facility where patients move in to receive specialized care.

A skilled nurse might also make home visits if recovery is guaranteed, and the care needed is more intense than what others may need.

If recovery will take longer than two weeks, it is often recommended or necessary that the patient move to a skilled nursing facility.

Skilled nursing types of care

Skilled nurses provide care that works directly toward healing an ailment or illness the patient faces. This service is very similar to the care that a person would receive during a hospital stay. This means that skilled nurses are not the type of professionals that would work with a chronic illness or a disability that permanently affects a person. Therefore a skilled nursing facility may help an elderly person heal from a fall, but, when they are healed from their injuries, they will be released and likely need private duty care to keep them healthy.

Skilled nursing facilities also have custodial services that provide hospice care, such as bathing, eating, and dressing, but as stated, these services are given with the goal of recovery and release in mind and not for indefinite stays.

Cost of skilled nursing

Skilled nursing services and facilities are usually included in healthcare plans due to the healing nature of their care. United Healthcare, for instance, provides assistance for up to 180 days of skilled nursing services per year. It can also be much easier to find a care provider in skilled nursing near you than a private duty nurse. This is because of the nature of the care and the facility they work out of.

A private duty nurse will need to work well with your family and personalities because of the long-term care they provide, but in a skilled nursing facility, there are plenty of rooms and nurses and different people to interact with, and easier-to-access information because they are an entire facility and not just a single person. To get help today contact Trusted Touch Healthcare now!