Is private duty nursing a stable job? Options for LPN's?

  1. My mom has been a LPN at a South Florida hospital for 40 years. She's very unhappy at her job but feels a bit stuck there since the jobs for LPN's are slim nowadays as most employers, especially at hospitals prefer hiring RN's, and she doesn't want to go back to school to get her RN. She worked private duty part time about a year ago and preferred it to working at the hospital. I told her she should apply to a private duty agency full time and quit her job at the hospital. Her main concern about this is that she thinks private duty is not a stable job because when a patient passes away or no longer needs the service, she believes she may be out of work and not have another job to fall back on. I find this hard to believe since I have always seen a lot of job listings for private duty nurses on job boards, and also because we live in an area with a high elderly population, and close to some wealthy areas where people can afford to hire a private duty nurse (Palm Beach, Boca Raton). Can any private duty nurses out there shed some light on this? What would be some other good options for LPN's who no longer wish to run around a hospital 12+ hours per day?
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   JustBeachyNurse
    She's correct private duty is unstable. Very few agencies hire nurses full time. If a patient is hospitalized or goes away for a weekend the nurse is left without work. Most states LPN cannot be direct hire as they must have RN oversight and RN to do admission, monthly and discharge assessments.

    Direct pay private duty is even less stable, requires the LPN to contract with an RN for supervision and may have issues with taxes (as an independent contractor), and issues if a client doesn't pay

    She can try traditional skilled home health, subacute, outpatient, skilled nursing, rehab and even supplement with private duty agency work.
  4. by   sirI
    Welcome to

    Thread moved to Private Duty forum.
  5. by   Adele_Michal7
    Run from private duty!
  6. by   OrganizedChaos
    I've worked PDN & it is the furthest thing from a stable job. It's great if a nurse wants to pick up extra hours, but as a full time job it sucks.
    The last PDN job I had got shut down because the client got removed from the home by CPS.
    Like a PP said, a nurse could lose hours by a patient being admitted into the hospital or just being away. Also it is possible & happens a lot that nurses get removed from cases for little to no reason at all.
    I would never recommend PDN nursing to anyone, unless they wanted to pick up extra money.
  7. by   smartnurse1982
    The only way i can see Pdn being a stable job is if the nurse is contracted to work with many different agencies.

    I would say 80% of nurses I know the work Pdn work for 2 or 3 agencies at the same time.
  8. by   shannonw6290
    Thank you for your replies, everyone. That's what I didn't want to hear. It is hard seeing my mom so unhappy and stressed at her job, so I am trying to find other options for her, but she is so picky. She doesn't want to work at a rehab or nursing home or anything, and there doesn't seem to be many other options for LPN's. We were thinking of medical billing/coding since it seems low stress and wouldn't take long for her to get a certification, but it doesn't seem like that career is in demand.
  9. by   OrganizedChaos
    The reason that there are so many posting for nurses by home health company is because they like to draw them in with the promise of work when there isn't any work.
  10. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Try traditional home health (intermittent skilled visits) with clinical skills & experience this could be a good option

    Billing/coding is a waste of time as most is outsourced overseas now

    LPN options are limited she may be able to secure work in a hospital affiliated outpatient with her experiences
  11. by   middleagednurse
    I'm sure everyone has had different PDN experiences, however, I used to do PDN and I was working around 50 hours a week. The deciding factor is your client. If you can get a steady client who is not constantly in and out of the hospital, you will get plenty of hours. But, that is a big "IF". Basically, it's luck. Perhaps she could Interview with a couple agencies and get some feedback on this.
  12. by   middleagednurse
    Plus, you don't generally get benefits. If you're sick, you don't get paid. And no paid vacation either. Some agencies offer health insurance, but not all of them.
  13. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Lack of benefits are often the extreme minimum due to low reimbursement by Medicaid/Medicare/insurance.
  14. by   meanmaryjean
    Private duty peds is always crying for help in my area. I have a couple LPN friends who get full-time hours and then some, and if their client is hospitalized, there's always a vacant shift waiting to be picked up. ESP if you are willing to do night shift.