When you think of all the jobs that can be done remotely, where people can work from home and enjoy the freedom and the productivity that such a working environment brings, nursing is probably not something that comes easily to mind. After all, nursing is a hands-on career, and therefore, surely, a nurse needs to be where the patients are; the patients are not going to be in that nurse’s home.
However, the perfect combination of working remotely and being a nurse can be found. There are, perhaps surprisingly, a number of different career paths that nurses can take to give them the working life they are looking for, and allow them to still take care of their patients, which would have most likely been the main reason for training to be a nurse in the first place.
Of course, the remote nursing positions are not for those who have achieved an RN status and no more; these roles tend to be for nurses who have gone on to gain additional qualifications, such as an FNP or DNP, and the roles are not going to be 100 percent home-based either; there will be some patient interaction involved. Even so, if you want to be able to enjoy at least some time working from home and remain in your nursing profession, the following career options may well appeal.
Nurse Health Coach
When you have graduated as a nurse, your first train of thought might lead you to a hospital. This is where most people will imagine nurses to work, and, in truth, it is where most nurses work. Yet if you would prefer not to work in such a setting, or you like the idea but not on a full-time basis, you might consider becoming a nurse health coach, and when you do this, you can work from home.
A nurse health coach is someone who works on a patient’s overall wellness and health. Rather than treating the patient for a specific condition, or even any conditions at all, a nurse health coach will instead suggest ways for the patient to become healthier, including a better diet, ways to exercise, and lifestyle changes. You are there to coach someone into a better state of health, and you can do this via video calls, emails, or on the phone if you are unable to meet face to face, or you prefer to stay at home. The beauty of this is that you can have clients all around the country, or even around the world, and build up your business in this way.
A nurse advocate is also known as a care advocate, nurse clinician, or clinical nurse advocate (among other names), and it is someone who offers patients help in different ways, other than carrying out treatments and making clinical decisions.
A nurse advocate will explain all the details of the patient’s condition to them, giving them as much information as they can. Of course, this can be traumatic, so a nurse advocate must be able to give bad news in a caring, kind way (which is why it’s best to gain experience as a nurse first, before making the switch to nurse advocate).
A nurse advocate will also:
- Give details of the cost of treatment and explain billing methods
- Guide the patient with insurance claims and any issues that might come up
- Educate patients about their condition or illness
- Give information about the different treatment options that may be available
The more nursing experience you have, the easier it will be to become a nurse advocate. Because there is no physical handling of patients required, this career can be done from home, with the occasional visit to a hospital or medical facility if need be.
If you work in nursing informatics you can certainly do this job from home if desired. For those looking to truly enhance their career and earn a great deal of money, nursing informatics may be tempting; it is one of the highest paid nursing careers you can find. If you don’t mind being remote from your patients, then this kind of job can offer you the perfect work-life balance, which is what so many people are looking for.
Nursing informatics is quite a new area of nursing, but it is a necessary one. Nursing informatics is all about analytics and project management, so it’s great for anyone who is extremely organized and who has computing skills. The main day to day task of anyone working within nursing informatics will be to use specialist technology to maintain patient records and update them where required.
Telephone Triage Nurse
Nurses who want to be able to help patients in a direct way may decide to become telephone triage nurses, which is a job that can absolutely be done on a remote basis. A telephone triage nurse will be on hand to answer phone calls from people who have non-urgent medical questions. The nurse, using their experience and training knowledge, should be able to answer these questions, or determine whether or not the query might be related to something more urgent, and therefore direct the patient to visit their doctor or a hospital.
Medical facilities are very busy places, and many will rely on telephone triage nurses to ensure the medical staff on-site can optimize the time they have to deal with patients who are already there, or who are arriving all the time. The telephone triage nurse role is a hugely responsible one, as it involves assessing symptoms and giving correct medical advice. However, for knowledgeable nurses who have plenty of experience, it is ideal – you can work from home and in comfort while still helping many different patients.
Remote Nurse Case Managers
Nursing case management is another area of nursing that can, if required, be done remotely. Also known as a clinic nurse case manager or a field case manager, it is a very important part of nursing and one that has become much more necessary in recent years.
A nurse case manager creates care plans for patients. These plans include medical appointments, scheduling procedures (and potentially arranging transport), aftercare, medication (making sure that not only is it prescribed and delivered, but that patients understand how to take it and why it is important).
In essence, a nurse care manager is like a patient’s personal assistant, although you will only be helping with their medical care, and no other duties. The patient will rely entirely on their nurse case manager to tell them where they need to be, when, and why, and so it’s a job that carries with it a great deal of responsibility. Again, although the majority of this work can be done from home, like some of the other careers on this list, the occasional visit to your patient or to a medical facility might be necessary. In this case, ensuring you have Cherokee scrubs from Uniform Advantage is important; scrubs give the patient (and those with them) a feeling of reassurance, and even if you’re not carrying out any hands-on nursing duties, scrubs will help your patient feel more at ease.
Being a nurse coder isn’t going to be for everyone; you do need to have a good head for figures and be a highly organized person. In essence, a nurse coder is the person who creates billing forms for the patients in the hospital; these forms will then be processed by Medicare.
There is no requirement to be a fully trained nurse to be a nurse coder, despite the name. Yet having been a nurse first and then moving to this position can give you an advantage; you will understand the medical terminology on the forms much better, and you will therefore be more able to spot any errors and inconsistencies.
Whether you were a nurse first or not, nurse coding can be done from home, although it’s best to have a quiet space to work in as it requires a great deal of concentration.
Independent Nurse Recruiter
If you work in recruitment, you will be responsible for finding the right people to fill vacant roles. In many cases, you’ll receive a commission for each successful candidate you find, so although the basic pay might be low, if you are good at your job, the commissions can add up to a lot. Plus, it’s a job that can be done from home; as long as you have a phone and an internet connection, you can work as a recruiter.
What does this have to do with nursing jobs that can be done from home?
The fact is, there are specific nursing recruiters who only look to fill nursing roles with qualified individuals. Again, you don’t have to have a nursing qualification to take this job on, or to do well in it, but if you do have an insight into the world of nursing and how it all works, you might be better placed than others to understand just what kind of person is going to suit the roles you need to fill.
Although the majority of nurses want to work with patients, the fact that there are home-based roles for those with nursing qualifications is exciting; it means that, even if you decide that hands-on nursing is not for you, you can still use your knowledge and hard-earned qualifications to have a successful, fulfilling career.