What is a Personal Care Nurse?

When you are licensed to provide care to patients, you can become a personal care nurse and help individuals with daily activities like bathing, feeding and dressing. It can be overwhelming to choose a career and to determine which field which is right for you, but with the growing need for personal care nurses and assistants this could be a great choice if you want opportunities and stability. Before you jump into the pursuit of a position with an agency or in a healthcare setting, you need to familiarize yourself with the roles of the personal care nurse. Read this job description with tips on how to become a personal care nurse, and decide if you are ready to change your future.

Who Do Personal Care Nurses Care For and Where Do They Work?

Personal care nurses typically work with elderly patients who need assistance with daily activities. While elderly patients have the greatest need for personal care and assistance, there are younger patients who are ill or sick and may also require your assistance as a personal nurse. Your roles depend entirely on the setting in which you work in. As a nurse who offers routine personal care to patients, you can work in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, hospice care agencies, in-home and psychiatric centers.

What Do Personal Care Nurses Do on a Daily Basis?

You will have different roles to fill based on your level of experience, your qualifications and where you work. Most personal care nurses are required to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) so that they are trained to administer medications and give quality care to patients with unique needs and serious medical conditions.

As an LPN who works in a clinical personal care role, you will be in charge of the technical tasks of nursing while making your patient feel physically and emotionally comfortable. You may perform a wide range of personal care activities that are essential to living a comfortable quality of life. These essential functions include: personal hygiene, assistance with exercise to help with motion, ambulation, dressing, bathing, eating, and preparing special foods recommended by a physician.

You will also be in charge of supervising your client when they are not capable of independent living. Many times personal care nurses will help with homemaking when they work in an in-home setting. Some of the duties can include vacuuming, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning, and changing linens. You will need to decide if a home setting is right for you based on the added responsibilities.

Demand for Personal Care Nurses in All Settings

Personal care nursing is going to be a growing field as baby boomers age and are not capable of living independently. Many people will hire home care nurses rather than having their elderly parent move into their home. Seniors often have a preference to stay home and maintain as much normalcy as possible. If you want to enter a field that will indeed grow, personal care nursing may be a great field to consider.

To get into personal care nursing, you need to meet minimum qualifications. Typically, you can either be a Certified Nursing Assistant or a Licensed Practical Nurse to work with home care agencies or in hospital settings. Review the opportunities that exist at each level, and then work towards becoming a personal care nurse.

Please also see: What is the Difference Between a CNA, LPN, and RN in Nursing?