Remote Jobs for Nurses
Guest post by Vikki Earley, RN
I am a registered nurse, but I do not wear scrubs, use a stethoscope, take doctors’ orders, or start IVs. It has been over a decade since I’ve checked vital signs or administered medications to a patient. I don’t travel to medical institutions or an office building or provide direct patient care services. Instead, I work as a remote Registered Nurse, where I use my clinical knowledge and expertise from my spare bedroom at home, often while wearing my pajamas and sipping my coffee (shh…don’t tell the Joint Commission!).
Are you interested in learning more about the world of remote jobs for nurses? I’ve been working as a remote nurse since 2017, and this is what I’ve learned so far…
What exactly are remote jobs for nurses?
It is common knowledge that nurses work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, outpatient surgical centers, and covid testing centers. What many people do not realize, however, is that nurses also work in various non-clinical roles outside of traditional patient care settings and often full-time from a computer in their homes. These non-clinical work-from-home roles are known collectively as remote jobs for nurses and have become a rapidly growing area of the nursing field. Some common examples of remote nurse jobs include:
- Healthcare Writer
- Data Abstractor
- Clinical Analyst
- Case Manager
- Utilization Management
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Medical Coding
- Concurrent Review
- Covid Tracer/Vaccine Educator
- Clinical Documentation Specialist
- Telephone Triage.
What skills are needed?
As in any nursing job, remote nursing jobs require a solid clinical background, critical thinking skills, and the ability to work both as a team member and autonomously. While in most remote nursing roles you are not required to maintain certifications like BLS, ACLS, or PALS, there are additional specialized skills you must possess.
Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs (Excel, Outlook, Word, etc.) is a must, along with comfort using video chat software like Microsoft TEAMS or ZOOM. Being tech-savvy is also necessary, as you will have to troubleshoot any computer issues, like internet/VPN connectivity problems, remotely with your company’s IT team.
The specialized nursing knowledge required varies widely depending on the remote nurse job title. For instance, a telephone triage nurse will need the ability to assess patients’ medical acuity via telephone and be comfortable working at a fast pace to answer continuous incoming calls from the phone queue.
A data abstraction nurse must have strong familiarity with numerous electronic medical records systems and be able to locate and process specific information in medical charts quickly and accurately.
Clinical documentation specialist nurses need to have a knowledge of current diagnosis codes, how to query physicians, and understand how to assess medical charts for accuracy. Some remote nursing jobs require a compact nursing license, while others only require you to be licensed in your state of residence.
Who hires remote nurses?
There are thousands of different organizations that hire remote nurses, but some of the primary employer types are:
- Private health insurance companies
- Revenue cycle and recovery service organizations
- Data management companies
- Federal and state government vendors
- Law firms
- Private provider practices
- Textbook companies
- Pharmaceutical Companies
What is the pay?
Remote nurse jobs can vary widely in compensation rates based on the type of job, employer, and your state residence. For example, a telephone triage nurse can make anywhere from $20 to $45 per hour, depending on the state, company, and patient population.
ZipRecruiter lists the average remote nurse job salary as $73,374 annually. In general, I have found that most remote nurse jobs do not pay as much as hospital bedside nursing. However, when factoring in the non-monetary benefits of remote work – like spending less money on gas, no uniform expenses, and more time to sleep – I have found that my work-life balance is worth more to me than the extra money I received doing patient care.
Where do I look for remote jobs for nurses?
Start where you are first:
My first remote nursing job in 2017 was as a nursing consultant for the state government doing clinical screenings over the phone. The position was not originally a telework job, but I approached my supervisor, requested to work from home, and she approved my request! If you are currently working in a non-clinical role at a facility, it may be worth asking your supervisor if your job can be done from a remote location instead.
I have found hundreds of remote nurse jobs on job boards, such as Indeed, Zippia and FlexJobs. You are required to set up an account to apply for the positions, but it is free to sign up. An additional benefit is that these platforms will also send jobs to your email that match what you are seeking.
Pro Tip: Use words like remote, telework, and telecommute in the location search field to refine your results to work-from-home jobs.
Professional and remote job websites:
LinkedIn is a professional networking site I use frequently to locate freelance healthcare writer jobs, but it is also an excellent site to find full-time remote nursing positions. Like Indeed and FlexJobs, you need to sign up and create a profile to benefit from LinkedIn, but it is also free.
Nurse Fern provides resources and links to job openings for nurses looking for remote work. The creator of the site, Emma Geiser, is a former ER nurse who has a mission to help nurses recover from bedside burnout.
The Remote Nurse is a website specializing in helping nurses, ARNPs, and PAs find work from home jobs. The site was created by Sadie Glisson, RN, and she also has a Facebook group, The Remote Nurse, where nurses can find additional resources and connect with other nurses who are searching for or have secured remote nurse jobs.
The Work At Home Woman is another excellent website that I have relied on to search for remote nursing jobs. The site’s founder, Holly Reisem Hanna, is an RN who wanted to find a legitimate way to make money working from home in 2007. While the site lists hundreds of various types of remote jobs, I have found several nursing and healthcare jobs on The Work At Home Woman website.
Is a remote nurse job right for me?
After reading this, are you ready to hang up your stethoscope and join me in working from home as a remote nurse in your pajamas, coffee in hand? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to transition to the work-from-home world:
- Will you feel fulfilled not performing direct patient care?
- Are you able to sit at a computer at least 8 hours at a time?
- Are you tech savvy?
- Do you like working in physical isolation?
- Are you able to connect well with others online through video conferencing, chats, and emails?
- Are you able to communicate clearly via text/writing?
- Are you able to work on the phones for multiple hours if your job requires this? (i.e. triage or case management)
- Are you able to function autonomously and stay on task without direct supervision?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then a remote nursing job may be a perfect fit for you!
Vikki Earley, RN is a nurse writer, medical content creator, and children’s book author. She is the owner and founder of Healthcare Writer Solutions, and she has held multiple remote nursing positions, including data abstractor, state government nurse consultant, and clinical analyst. Vikki is a proud mother of two amazing artist daughters who have illustrated the children’s books that Vikki authored. In her spare time, Vikki likes to read, play bluegrass music with her husband, Huckleberry, and go hiking with her Belgian Malinois pup.