How Much Do Private Duty Nurses Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated September 26, 2023
Private duty nurses make an average of $57,810 annually. Learn more about private duty nurse pay and what factors affect their salary.
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Would you like a career where you work with one patient at a time in the comfort of their own home? Then, private duty nursing could be your next career move.

Find out how technical skills, the state where you practice, education level, and the work location can all affect the average private nurse salary.

Average Salary for Private Duty Nurses

According to Payscale data from July 2022, private duty nurses make an average annual salary of $57,810 or $23.89 an hour. The lowest 10% of private duty nurses earn $34,000 annually and the highest 10% earn $67,000 annually.

Registered nurses (RNs) who choose this private duty nursing earn about $10 less per hour than nurses in other specialties such as emergency room nursing, critical care nursing, and labor and delivery nursing.

Private duty nurses with skills in pediatrics, home care, critical care, wound care, and geriatrics can receive 1-4% higher than average salaries.

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, July 2022

Average Hourly Wage
Source:Payscale, July 2022

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The Highest-Paying States for Private Duty Nurses

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2021, RNs earn the most money in California with an average salary of $124,000 annually. Nurses in Hawaii make the second-highest amount with an average of $106,530.

Nurses in Oregon make an average annual salary of $98,630, while nurses in Washington, D.C., make $98,540. In Alaska, nurses make an average annual salary of $97,230.

According to Payscale in July 2022, private duty nurses earn a higher than average salary in Denver, Colorado, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois. Cities such as Jacksonville, Florida, Houston, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina, pay private duty nurses less than average.

Cost of living in these cities explains most of the gap in pay. According to Payscale in July 2022, Denver, Colorado, pays 17.1% more than the average annual salary for private duty nurses, but the cost of living in Denver is 18% higher than average. Jacksonville, Florida, pays about 20% less than the national average for private duty nurses, but their cost of living is 20% lower.

4 Ways to Increase Pay As a Private Duty Nurse

Private duty nurses may earn more if they hold certifications, increase their education level, work in an administrative role, or change where they work.

  1. 1

    Consider Pursuing Certifications

    The certified wound specialist board certification by the American Board of Wound Management is a course for RNs that teaches them how to provide better wound care. Private duty nurses skilled in wound care could see a pay raise of up to 3% more than the national average private duty nurse salary.

  2. 2

    Increase Your Education Level

    Private duty nurses who get their master of science in nursing may gain more opportunities for raises and promotions, including positions where they manage other private duty nurses.

  3. 3

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    Private duty nurses in administrative roles oversee junior private duty nurses and may earn more money supervising other nurses. An advanced degree can help private duty nurses work toward an administrative role with an increased salary.

  4. 4

    Change Practice Setting

    Private duty nurses may find moving to another state or city can earn them a salary more in line with their cost of living. Nurses who work in a hospice facility rather than out of someone’s home can also earn higher salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Duty Nurse Salaries

question-mark-circleWhat skills do private duty nurses need?

Private duty nurses need to know how to monitor vital signs, care for patient wounds, and monitor medications. Keeping the patient safe, caring for a variety of medical conditions, and helping with personal hygiene are also common private duty nurse tasks.

question-mark-circleDo private duty nurses need a license to practice?

Yes, private duty nurses need an unrestricted licensed practical nurse or RN license to practice.

question-mark-circleIs a private duty nurse the same as a home health nurse?

No, home health nurses may have more patients at a time than private duty nurses. Home health nurses also receive more pay and have more responsibility overseeing the patient’s care plan, diagnosing the patient, and making necessary medical referrals.

question-mark-circleWhere do private duty nurses work?

Private duty nurses usually work in one patient’s home at a time, but they can also work at hospice and nursing home facilities.

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