So, you have decided to become a nurse. Good for you! If you have just begun to explore your options in the nursing field, you probably wonder if all of them require you to leave the comfort of your home. The answer is a resounding no. As the healthcare industry continues to adapt to new world challenges and emerging technology, working from home is no longer a mere fantasy for nursing professionals. There are many work-at-home opportunities for nurses that can be just as fulfilling as serving patients at their bedsides.
Let’s explore some of the most common work-at-home nursing jobs. Learn about the level of education required and certifications needed for each type.
Telephone Triage Nurse/Telehealth Nurse
Telephone triage nurses answer calls from patients and conduct over-the-phone medical consultations while telehealth nurses often work with patients via video chat. Through comprehensive assessments, these nursing professionals help patients determine whether they require emergency care or would be best served by visiting their regular healthcare provider. Triage nurses base their decisions solely on the information provided by the patient.
As with all nursing professionals, the roles and responsibilities of a telehealth nurse can vary depending on the employer and nursing specialty. Here are some of the most common duties:
- Assisting doctors: Telehealth nurses can help by determining which patients require physician intervention and which can be treated remotely. This helps lighten the load for physicians.
- Consulting with patients: This can be done via video chat or over the phone to assess healthcare needs.
- Educating patients: Make sure patients understand symptom management.
- Monitoring patient’s vitals: This can include blood glucose or oxygen levels.
- Offering medical advice: This is done for patients suffering from minor health issues.
- Scheduling appointments and referrals: Nurses help patients determine what care they need and then schedule appointments to see specialists.
To become a telehealth nurse, you must attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. Most employers are looking for candidates that have a BSN.
Following graduation, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn your Registered Nurse (RN) licensure.
Sometimes 2 to 3 years of bedside experience is preferred by healthcare employers. While not required, telephone and telehealth triage nurses may want to consider earning their Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification (AMB-BC™).
Telehealth triage nurses earn an average annual salary of $59,376.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Informatics nurses play a critical role in patient care. They develop and improve technology for medical record-keeping that helps avoid patient care delays, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent medical errors. Digitizing all patient healthcare records requires using specialized software. The trade-off is all healthcare team members can access accurate information for their patients. The other perk is the job can easily be done remotely, making it another top work-at-home nursing position.
While it is not required, it is recommended that informatics nurses hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some nurses opt for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on informatics. The higher the level of education, the higher salary. Regardless of which degree you pursue, you must obtain your RN licensure before you can work as an informatics nurse. Additionally, some healthcare employers require candidates to hold an RN-BC Informatics Nurse Certification.
Informatics is a nursing field that is expected to grow by 9%t between now and 2025. The demand helps drive up salaries for this type of nursing. The current average annual salary is about $80,000.
RN Case Manager
RN case managers ensure the entire healthcare operation runs efficiently. They develop, implement, and review healthcare plans, which can be done on-site at a healthcare facility or remotely. Many RN case manager positions offer a work-at-home option. The goal is to balance patient outcomes with streamlined treatment costs to help healthcare providers stay on budget. Additionally, they serve as liaisons between medical practitioners and their patients.
To become an RN case manager requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), followed by passing the NCLEX-RN exam to earn RN licensure. Honing your skills and qualifications is the next step. Most nurses work as RNs for up to five years to gain the kind of bedside experience most healthcare employers prefer for this position. Choosing roles that focus on case management is recommended. Certification may also be required by some employers. There are four options:
- Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
- ANCC Nurse Case Manager Certification (RN-BC)
- American Case Management Certification (ACM)
- Certification in Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCCTM)
The salary outlook for senior RN case managers is bright, with the average annual salary around $85,000 per year.
Nurse recruiters can work from virtually anywhere. They help medical companies and other healthcare providers find quality nursing candidates to fill open roles within their organizations. Nurse recruiters must have solid communication skills. These nurses essentially sell a healthcare employer by highlighting perks to attract nurses, so they must also possess excellent marketing abilities.
Most employers and nursing agencies require recruiters to hold the minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). No special certifications are required to work in this nursing field, but healthcare employers may require additional training beyond your nursing degree to work as a recruiter.
The average annual salary of nursing recruiters is $87,245.
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