Pediatric Private Duty Nursing in Central Arkansas


I'm hoping some of your amazing nurses can shed some light on how I might be able to help our local agency locate a nurse to care for my special son Spence. My son is 17 mos old and doesn't have a Trach however, he requires regular suction, breathing treatments, and feeding & meds via g-tube feeds.

Our current situation is as follows:

I'm active duty Air Force and our insurance Tricare Prime (Humana) has approved my son for Private Duty Nursing for 12 hours/day. Unfortunately every agency in the area went out of business and the sole remaining agency (Care IV) has for weeks now been unable to get any nurses to fill the vacancies they have. I've been told by the agency coordinator that we have better chances because my son doesn't have a trach & nurses prefer not to work with trach patients but she flat out told me it's hard to get nurses to work in my area because it's rural and away from the city (long drive).

My wife & I are u7p at all hours, round the clock caring for our son and honestly we haven't been out together since before he was born. My job has been on the line many times and I'm running out of ideas on how to get help caring for my son. We've come so far to finally get approved for the nursing to only find out that their's no nurses interested in working out here.

I'm hoping one of you nurses will read this and share it with a Central Arkansas nurse that might be looking for this line of work.

I appreciate any ideas or assistance.




38,333 Posts

How rural are you? Is it possible that you could move to an area where there might be better prospects of finding a nurse willing to travel? I'm sorry to say that with gas prices the way they are, you are most likely going to have a hard time finding someone willing to drive very far away from where they live. You might also consider providing a sleeping room free of charge to a nurse who could then travel home on their days off. I've seen this arrangement work before.

Lorie P.

754 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

Try posting this on the Arkansas Nurses forum, you might get more responses there.

Best of luck to you!


5 Posts

Is their an Arkansas Nursing Forum in particular that is good or used more? We're only 30-40 minutes drive from downtown Little Rock so we're not really that far away. The Agency isn't exactly advertising very actively. The only ad I found so far was in the Lonoke Paper which most folks don't read since it's fee and usually end up in the tush before it's unwrapped.


5 Posts

Disregard I see what you mean.


1 Post

I am not sure where you are located, I live in Cabot and am an RN. I would like to get in touch with you and hear more.


5 Posts


I replied to your message in private - thank you so much for contacting me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.


373 Posts

Specializes in A little of this & a little of that.

I would suggest that you try the agencies in Little Rock. I don't live in Arkansas, but I do this kind of work. Here the agencies are located in the big cities but have cases all over the state. I live in a rural area an hour from the nearest city and get cases near home. Some agencies don't necessarily advertise or specialize in pediatrics but will take on the case, especially if they have nurses in the area.

That said, pediatric homecare is an area with a huge shortage. Parents never get the amount of help they really need. But, whatever you can get is at least a break. A good agency will run ads in newspapers and online to recruit a nurse for you. Ask about this before signing a contract with a new agency. In advertising they should stress the positives. Many nurses don't do this work because they assume the kids are terminally ill. This is not usually the case, so it pays to get the word out for your child.

I wish you all the best. I know from experience how difficult your situation is.:redpinkhe

cot mom

3 Posts

I am the mom of a special needs son my husband is retired navy how has tricare been for you? My son gets 24/7 home care for several years now.I helped get the tricare custodial care defination changed and of course lobbyed for home care for special needs military families. Glad to see they are trying to get you some help but they should have you as a valued member of our all volenteer armed forces in a location where you can get the services you need for your child have you contacted stomp? they are advocates for military families. Would love to hear from you. casualties of tricare mom


5 Posts

We actually relocated in September to McGuire AFB, New Jersey to get Spence the services he needs and integrated into the CHOP network (Children's Hospital of PA). We're doing much better up here and they have approved us for 86 hours/week of nursing (the maximum they say is possible). It was a huge battle and tons of writing involved on my part as well as his doctors and nursing agency. The agency still is not able to completely fill all the hours but we have about 50 hours filled on a regular basis. TRICARE has been an uphill battle however, it's not as bad as it was with TRICARE South...the North region seems to be better staffed.

cot mom

3 Posts

Tricare/dod they do make you fight for the care.I had to go to DC and tell my story now my son is grandfathered for the 24/7 but I worry they may stop care. He has a trach,gtube,oxygen just a start to his skilled nursing needs. There are several programs for special needs familys but the different regions bend to DOD and they are using the programs to expand services to some while limiting the too sick to get well group. My I ask what your sons condition is? Are you getting everything he needs? Did they force you to sign away your basic tricare benefits for the help you get? Ours was a horror story I fought hard for all military familys to get medically necessary doctor ordered care for all but Tricare continues to pick and choose and leave some out in the cold or shift their care to the better coverage of medicaid. Here are a few programs they have tryed. PFPWD,EFMP,ICMP,ICMP-PEC,CCTP,ABA demo,ECHO,EHCC and a couple of others I havent had a chance to research. I will keep your family in my thoughts. Carrie Sapp


2 Posts

You have probably already gotten your needs met by now, but if not, you should look into Home Bound Medical, of Mountain Home, Arkansas. The number is 870-425-2446. Good Luck!

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