The COVID-19 pandemic gave many of us a taste of the work-from-home (WFH) culture. Nurses, the frontline heroes of the pandemic, weren’t necessarily among those who had this opportunity. Nonetheless, technological advancements in recent years, combined with the onset of the pandemic, have laid the foundation for the WFH policy for jobs traditionally done in person. And certain nursing roles have found their home in this new structure—literally!
So, how are nurses doing patient care from home? Technically, they’re not. Remote nurses perform consultations and nursing-adjacent administrative tasks like billing and coding. While they’re not performing traditional health services like administering IVs, they’re still significantly impacting their patients’ lives. They perform tasks such as case management, medical writing, and legal nurse consulting. Read on to learn more about this exciting new territory in the nursing field.
The pros and cons of remote nursing work
Just like every other field, remote nursing has its perks and drawbacks. When working from home, we all joke about getting to work in our pajamas. In many nursing roles, one technically could—that’s generally not a deciding factor when it comes to hitting the job boards. The real benefits of remote nursing work include reduced transportation costs, more time with family, and a better schedule. Someone who once had a long commute might jump at the opportunity to WFH, as would someone who prefers to set their own hours.
But remote work isn’t for everyone. If you have a lot of distractions at home, don’t have the space for an office, or simply prefer getting out of the house every day, remote positions may not be for you. In fact, if you’re someone who loves providing direct patient care, your place of work may not be your home.
Our top work-from-home nursing jobs
If you’re thinking the WFH structure could be for you, it’s time to set up your home office. If you’re looking to work as a registered nurse (RN) in a healthcare setting, you’ll have many opportunities for remote RN jobs and administrative roles.
You’ll no longer be running around the hospital or seeing patients, watching your hard work pay off in positive patient outcomes. So, as you consider these roles, think about how far (or close) you want to be to the kind of work you did before. (Spoiler alert: If you enjoy patient-facing roles, you’re going to love No. 4.)
- RN case manager
You don’t have to miss out on the rewarding work of implementing care plans just because you WFH. In a nurse case manager role, you can provide telephone support to chronically ill or injured patients who need guidance on their cases. You’ll help them manage their goals, monitor pain and help keep care cost-effective. Remote case managers make between $60,000 and $85,000 annually.
- Freelance medical writer
Nurses can use their medical knowledge and years of experience to write on clinical topics and the healthcare industry. So, if you have a passion for the pen, possess great communication skills and don’t mind a little research and fact-checking, this could be a perfect fit. If you also have a passion for working in your pajamas, you could definitely fit into this role. Even non-nurses can work in this capacity as long as they’ve studied science and English or journalism. On average, freelance medical writers earn around $82,000 yearly.
- Legal nurse consultant
In this lucrative role, nurses use their clinical experience to assist in legal cases. Legal nurse consultants put their expertise to work advising businesses, insurance companies, and attorneys. They guide clients on how to use medical terms, help assess evidence and medical records and facilitate conversations with parties in a case. They make more than $100,000 annually.
- Telehealth nurse
Is the future of nursing telemedicine? In part, maybe. Patients will always need direct care, but remote nurses can take over some of the initial work of assessing a patient’s needs. Telehealth nurses provide consultations and referrals for specialists and help patients who don’t have easy access to a healthcare facility monitor their conditions. There are telehealth nursing jobs from home and others in telephone triage centers and traditional healthcare environments, so if you don’t want to leave the house, look for remote roles. This remote nursing job’s salary is around $70,000 annually.
- Telephone triage nurse
Telephone triage nurses can either work from home or at a call center, although if you plan to do the former, you’ll need to set yourself up for success with a dedicated phone and computer for your work. This nursing position strikes a nice balance between traditional in-person and at-home roles because going to your home office is kind of like going to work, just a bit more comfortable. As a telephone triage nurse, you’d provide similar services to telehealth nurses, in addition to advice over the phone to patients in need instead of just recommending the next steps. Full-time telephone triage nurses earn around $75,000 annually.
Is telehealth the future of nursing?
Telehealth nursing roles are on the rise, so if you want to try your hand at an at-home role, now’s a great time. Even if you’re not providing direct patient care, you could still save a life by answering an opportune call or helping a patient understand their medication. What’s more? You could also provide essential healthcare services to patients who live in underserved or remote areas and don’t have access to healthcare centers.
And, if you want a change of pace in your nursing career, working from home can provide the perfect opportunity for you to try something new, like legal consulting or medical writing. Remote nursing is a relatively nascent field. Not many have explored it to know its advantages. But with technology developing at a rapid pace, telehealth is estimated to gain immense popularity. Imagine how much you could contribute to the field of medicine by combining your talents as a healthcare professional and staying up to date with the ever-evolving technology.
Whether you work remotely or at an on-site healthcare practice, you’ll need a comfortable pair of scrubs. And yes, you could throw them on at home, too! Good luck with your job search!