Difference between Hospital and Nursing Home

Key Difference: A hospital is usually referred to as a medical treatment center. It is a heath care organization and is largely managed by professional physicians, surgeons and nurses. Whereas, nursing home is a kind of residential health care provider. It is basically a small private residential accommodation with health management, especially for elderly citizens.

Hospital and nursing home are two words that are unquestionably different from each other. Hospital is a health care center where people are admitted because of accidents or various diseases. On the other hand, nursing home is a kind of housing health care provider where young or elderly people are taken care of for certain period of time or even lifetime.

A hospital is usually referred to as a medical treatment facility. A hospital can be a private or public sector building where patients are admitted for treatment. It is a health care organization, which provides patients with treatment by expert staff and equipment. Hospital was derived from the Latin word ‘hospes’ or ‘hospitalis’, meaning ‘hospitable’. It is largely managed by professional physicians, surgeons and nurses. People admitted to a hospital require acute medical services. It is a 24 hour health center where patients get admitted for treatment of various diseases.

There are two types of patients that are seen differently in the hospitals: Outpatient and Inpatient. An outpatient for that matter is treated in the hospital as a patient that has visited the hospital for consultation. Whereas, an inpatient is treated in the hospital only after admission.

A nursing home is a place for people who don’t need to be in a hospital but can’t be cared for at home. It is basically a small classified housing accommodation with health management, especially for elderly citizens. Nursing homes specialize in long-term care. Nursing home is also known as convalescent home, skilled nursing facility (SNF), care home, rest home or intermediate care.

The staff may provide medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy like a hospital. They try to have a neighborhood feel. The special care unit is also served for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is not just for particular people, but it is for anyone who requires a special treatment 24x7. Nursing homes offer help with custodial care like bathing, getting dressed, and eating. The care is provided by specially trained professionals, such as physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists.

Comparison between Hospital and Nursing Home:



Nursing Home



A hospital is an institution in which sick or injured persons are given medical or surgical treatment.

A nursing home is a private residential institution equipped to care for persons unable to look after themselves, as the aged or chronically ill.


Latin word ‘hospes’ or ‘hospitalis’, meaning ‘hospitable’.



Short-term care

Long-term care


24 hours



  • General hospitals – set to deal with many kinds of diseases and injury
  • District hospitals – for intensive care and long-term care
  • Specialized hospitals – it includes trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, seniors’ hospitals, etc.
  • Teaching hospitals – medical students and nurses assist patients

In the United States, there are three types of nursing facilities:

  • Intermediate care facility (ICF) – it is for individuals who are disabled, elderly, etc.
  • Assisted living facility (ALF) – it is for people with disabilities
  • Skilled nursing facility (SNF) – it is certified to participate in, and be reimbursed by Medicare


  • Cancer department
  • Inpatient department
  • Accident department
  • Cardiology department
  • Maternity department
  • Outpatient department
  • Etc.

There are no departments in nursing house.


Separate rooms meant for patients that are admitted in the hospital.

Separate rooms are available for patients for the long-period of time.


Usually, a family member or relative cannot visit a patient at anytime. There is a particular time when visitors can visit.

A Family member or relative can visit at any time of day or night.


Deaths take place in the hospital.

Deaths usually take place in the nursing home.

Image Courtesy: blogs.telegraph.co.uk, pristinerecruitment.co.uk

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the article is very knowledgeable to me , knowing the difference of them

thanks for this

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