In the COVID-19 era, more and more positions are shifting to remote work, especially in health care. While most people likely think of nursing as an “in-person” job, there are many telecommuting job options for nurses who want the flexibility of working from home.
If you’re thinking about changing jobs and telehealth nursing peaks your interest, here are some types of remote roles nurses can take on, what they are, and how you can get involved.
Can Nurses Really Work From Home?
Like many health care professions, traditional nursing jobs often require being physically present with patients to assess and treat conditions. But nowadays there are many jobs that can be done remotely. You don’t even necessarily need a nursing degree for some work from home (WFH) nursing jobs, but having some medical training and education can be a tremendous help.
Many nurses take on WFH jobs during times of transition in their life, like raising a child, allowing them more time to spend at home. They can also start working from home when they’re looking to take a break from nursing but still want to keep up with the practices and maintain their licenses and certifications.
Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC)
If you’re a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN), you’ve likely heard of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), or its newer version, the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The eNLC is a big factor in helping you determine what telehealth jobs you can get.
Many states are part of the eNLC agreement. If you live in one of the eNLC states already and applied to be an LPN or RN there, then your license is likely considered a multi-state license. That means you can practice telehealth in any of the eNLC states.
States that aren’t part of the eNLC include the following: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. If you live in one of those states but would like to use your nursing license in another state, you’ll have to apply for a single state license through that state’s nursing regulatory board.
Common Telehealth Jobs For Nurses
Telehealth is a general term for giving online health care to remote locations through the use of technology. Below are some remote nursing positions and a brief description of their responsibilities. Most require a background as a registered nurse (RN), though some will also hire licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
Medical Call Center Agent
Working in a medical call center is becoming more often an at-home job that sometimes doesn’t need a lot of nursing experience depending on the position. Medical call center nurses make and take calls that require giving medical advice, checking up on patients and their well-being, and getting insurance information. Insurance companies and medical businesses hire for these jobs, and the training is also typically done remotely.
Tech-savvy nurses with teaching experience can transfer their skills to become online instructors. Nurses can develop their own courses or teach pre-existing ones for universities, online colleges, and private medical training facilities. A master’s degree is the typical minimum requirement, though some programs require a Ph.D., and there may be mandatory in-person meetings with students or administrators.
Health Care Recruiter
A recruiter is responsible for working with hiring managers and finding and identifying professionals to fit a specific job. Having experience in nursing and knowing the ins and outs of the industry is a major bonus when applying to be a health care recruiter. These are typically full-time employment positions that may require some in-person meetings with teams or recruits.
Like in hospitals, telehealth case managers coordinate care for patients with their insurance companies. Responsibilities can include patient advocate or Medicare specialists. These are not always full-time WFH positions, but many of them will allow for part-time remote work.
Health Care Consultant
Working as a consultant, you can help health care and nursing students prepare for licensing and certification exams. Being a consultant is typically a contract job where you dictate your hours, rate and clients. It is also possible to be a consultant to hospitals and nursing programs and to give them insight on what changes can be made.
Nursing Informatics Specialist
A nursing informatics specialist is an IT position responsible for improving health care data systems and helping users solve problems. These positions require both a background in nursing and data management skills. While IT roles can be done remotely, you may initially need to spend some time in the office to learn on the job.
If you have excellent typing and listening skills, you can combine them with your medical knowledge to become a transcriptionist. In this role, you’ll listen to voice recordings from doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners and transcribe them into notes or documents for patient medical files. This position requires additional certification and can be a full-time remote position.
A new type of position in the medical field, pre-service nurses work with doctors, physicians, and case managers to develop patient plans before the patient comes in for an appointment. While plans can be developed at home, it may require physically seeing the patient to change and make additions to the plan.
Legal Nurse Consultant
This type of consultant will provide lawyers, legal teams, and law practices with insight into the medical field. Legal nurse consultants usually work on personal injury, malpractice, and worker’s compensation cases. They may also be asked to interpret medical records and coordinate medical exams for legal clients. This information is usually used for in-house expertise and not to testify as an expert in open court. You can typically be in this position remotely in a part time capacity.