What are the Different Types of in-Home Nursing Jobs?

Susan Grindstaff

In-home nursing jobs refer to nursing that takes place inside the private residence of a patient. Though these jobs are often supervised by physicians, nurses provide most of the necessary daily health care. At the lowest level, these in-home nursing jobs could be held by either a non-certified or a certified nurses assistant (CNA). Middle level jobs of this kind are often held by a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Patients who have a registered nurse (RN) for their in-home care are receiving care by someone who has been trained in one of the highest levels of nursing.

In-home nursing refers to nursing care that is provided in the home of a patient.
In-home nursing refers to nursing care that is provided in the home of a patient.

Patients who are home bound, but do not require specialized care, sometimes hire non-certified nurses assistants. Duties could include dispensing medication, changing bandages, and attending to the hygiene. In most cases, a non-certified assistant earns much less than a CNA, often receiving only a little above minimum wage. A CNA performs many of the same duties as a non-certified assistant, but may be authorized to also perform some diagnostic testing, such as monitoring blood pressure and oxygen levels. In the United States (US), the average yearly salary for a private duty CNA is around $31,000 US dollars (USD).

An in-home nurse may be responsible for monitoring a patient's blood pressure.
An in-home nurse may be responsible for monitoring a patient's blood pressure.

In most cases, RNs and LPNs are hired for in-home nursing jobs that require more specialized care or when the patient is critically ill. While working closely with a physician, these nurses perform much the same duties as they would in a hospital environment, such as performing and recording diagnostics, administering medications, and monitoring supporting medical equipment. In addition, they may instruct others involved in patient care, such as nursing assistants or family members. In the United States, the average yearly salary for a private duty LPN is around $45,000 USD, and the salary for a private duty RN is around $80,000 USD. These pay scales can vary depending on levels of experience and geographic location.

In-home nursing jobs are often associated with patients who are in hospice care. These patients are considered terminally ill, and most of the time their care is aimed at maintaining comfort levels and reducing pain rather than administering treatment. This is often considered a very difficult assignment because in many cases, nurses involved in hospice care are with their patients all the way up to death. This can be very traumatic, especially since the process may be repeated many times per year. Nurses involved in in-home nursing jobs with the terminally ill sometimes need counseling to help them cope with emotional stress.

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