Typical shift for private duty nurse?


  • Specializes in Telemetry, PCU, Private Duty, Hospice.

Hi there,

I currently work in a hospital on a med-surg unit. I have over a year of acute hospital experience and I'm now looking into private duty/home care positions. I really want to have time to spend with patients, educate them, along with performing the tasks associated with nursing care.

I am looking at companies like Bayada and PSA Healthcare. For anyone who works for one of these companies or a similar company, can you describe a typical shift to me? Typical patients you care for...adult or pediatric? Challenges of the position? Did you receive a proper orientation to be able to work autonomously on the job?

Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!!!!

Specializes in pediatrics; PICU; NICU. Has 45 years experience.

I've been working for PSA for 5 1/2 years & they are very good to work for (at least the branch I'm with is). As their name implies, they have only Pediatric patients. I take care of a 6 year old who is on a vent & has a Mickey button. I received a very thorough orientation before I accepted the case & have helped to orient some new nurses to the case. You just have to remember that you are the only nurse there. You will have to handle anything that arises without the aid of other nurses, RT, or anyone else. If you have any other questions, I'll be glad to answer them.


710 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I work for a Bayada Pediatrics office and I love it. I work 11-7a. I do this bc the hours are more readily available. I really like the Bayada company a lot. My office is very organized and pleasant. I choose my schedule 100% and they never give me a hard time, even on rare occasions I had to back out of a shift a week before. I have worked w a wide variety of clients with all sorts of diseases and conditions. I have learned SO much. I worked in a nursing home for a year and never felt comfortable w my assessments or skills, but working one client at a time, I had time to develop confidence and proficiency. Their training is top notch, and often offer bonuses to become trach and vent trained (I complete my vent clinical hours tonight for my vent certification and will get a nice bonus in my paycheck next week!) From what I hear, Bayada does not pay as well as some other agencies. But also from what I hear, other agencies are very disorganized, have less work available, don't allow overtime, and don't train well or offer excellent support. To me, there are more important things than money. I prefer less managerial stress. I don't take their benefits, but I hear that benefits are expensive and not so great at most any agency.

If you work days, you will most likely experience going to school w the client. Every case is different. I had a case where I was in the room across the hall all day and they'd call me for suctioning or if the tube feed was beeping. Another case they broke the rules and took off my client's instructional aide and made me do the work. That was awkward, especially since other nurses tolerate that. Another case I did no nursing skills at all, I was just there as a 1:1 to keep her from hurting herself, and to change her 5 poopy diapers a day. I found going to school anywhere extremely exhausting. I like quiet nights better. Most families I have offer their password to access their Wifi. It's generally understood that nights are a long shift with large amounts of time between scheduled care. Overnights are perfect if you are taking classes, you have enough down time to get some good studying in. I'm a Brownie leader and I get all my prepwork done at work. It's lonely, as everyone is asleep and sometimes the dark house is creepy. No two clients are alike, and since I float a lot, I have a lot of variety.

I never worked at PSA, but I know some people who work for them and they are pretty content with them.


68 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, PCU, Private Duty, Hospice.

KarenfRN and CloudySue! Thank you so much for the information. I have an interview this week. Hoping to get consistent PRN hours on nights I'm not at the hospital. I signed up with a company about 5 months ago for private duty, but they were only willing to give me 1 hour of training with each client. I never picked up any hours since I felt that was extremely unsafe and I didn't want to risk loosing my license! Glad to hear that Bayada and PSA train their employees much better.

Specializes in Pediatric Cardiology. Has 7 years experience.

I did PDN for a year after graduation. I worked for a small agency though, but a friend worked for PSA and liked it.

I had two cases. One was a 10 year old boy with a trach/vent and g-tube. I went to school with him twice a week, I worked 8-6. I usually sat in the back and read unless he needed something. He had a 1:1 teacher. I would suction as needed and do feeds. When we got home from school it was just him and I, we usually played board games and rode around on the golf cart if it was nice. :)

My other case was a 10 year old girl with a neurological disease. I did nights with her, 7-7 and 11-7. I would bring my computer and watch movies. They had a TV with a ton of channels too so I would keep myself entertained. It would depend on the night how much I did, sometimes she would be up all night, others I wouldn't hear a peep from when she went to bed until the morning.

Both cases I got a few weeks orientation, either with another RN or the family. They made sure I felt ready before being on my own. I liked PDN but it got to be where I felt like I was an overpaid babysitter. I needed something with adult interaction and a challenge. The little girl died the week I gave my notice, that was really hard. :( You get to know the kids so well.