The difference between a nursing home and a skilled nursing facility is that in a skilled nursing facility the nurses are usually more skilled and are usually more focused on rehabilitation of the patients for short term care.
A nursing home has less skilled nurses and most patients in the nursing home are there for long term care although sometimes even in a nursing home they may be there for short term care.
Nursing homes are for permanent custodial assistance, whereas a skilled nursing facility is often temporary, to solve a specific medical need or to allow recovery outside a hospital.
The average life expectancy of someone in a nursing home is between 5 to 15 years.
Most people go into nursing homes when they can no longer care for themselves and when they are about at the end of their lives.
So most nursing home patients are only in the nursing home for a few years to 5 to 10 years at most before they die.
Some people may need to go to a nursing home temporarily such as a result of a car accident and need temporary care as they recover.
So not all nursing home patients stay in the nursing home for the rest of their lives bust most do.