Working from home is a dream for many who seek the benefits it presents. Just imagine having no commute, working in a quieter, more comfortable place, and maybe even increasing your productivity as a result.
It’s easy to imagine shifting a computer-based office job to the home environment. Some jobs lend themselves to working from home more than others. Nursing, however, might not seem like a possible work-from-home career. After all, nurses are always in hospitals wearing scrubs and caring for patients, right? Not quite.
Work-from-home nursing jobs do exist. We got some nursing experts to tell you about the details of their work-from-home job so maybe it can turn into your work-from-home job in the future.
6 work-from-home nursing job options
1. Nursing case manager
Case management nurses help manage a patient’s care to keep them as healthy as possible. In this role you’d determine the best plan of care for patients, including making doctor’s appointments and helping schedule important surgeries.
Opportunities in this field are expected to grow by 17 percent (a rate much faster than the average occupation) through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A work-from-home nursing case manager needs to spend plenty of time on the phone discussing health issues with patients and coordinating with other care providers. The American Association of Managed Care Nurses sees more work-from-home positions becoming available as hospitals focus less on profit margins in the coming years.
Potential job titles: Nurse case manager, field case manager RN, case manager nurse, case manager LPN, clinical nurse case manager
2. Nurse advocate
In a nutshell, nurse advocates help their patients understand every aspect of care, from treatment options and illness education to insurance issues. “You carry many roles as a healthcare advocate,” says Michelle Katz, LPN, author and healthcare advocate. Katz’ work involves informing her clients about what is going on with their care and often helping them negotiate and navigate insurance coverage.
“I get patients calling me all the time asking for help on their medical bills or guidance on how to avoid medical debt,” Katz says, adding that she started the non-profit, Nurse Katz Foundation to help clients who couldn’t afford an advocate.
“Your role is to provide as many resources and options as possible to the client so they can make the best-informed decision for themselves and their loved ones,” Katz says. The more experience you have in different situations, the better you can be as an advocate. “Some of the best advocates I have trained are the ones I guided through their own billing and navigating issues.”
In this way, nurses are ideally placed to make fabulous healthcare advocates. They are already deeply familiar with the healthcare system, and they have practice caring for people. “Just being someone’s moral support is part of the role of a healthcare advocate.”
Potential job titles: Mental healthcare advocate, nurse clinician, clinical nurse advocate, RN infusion therapy advocate at home, senior RN care advocate
3. Nurse blogger
Blogging might sound like a cushy work-from-home job due to its seeming accessibility — anyone who can string some words together can do it, right? Well, no.
“If you want to blog, you have to have a clear voice, provide practical solutions to your audience, and authentically brand yourself,” says MSN/MBA, RN and blogger Elizabeth Scala. “It's all about showing up as yourself and helping people with your content!”
Scala’s blog began as an online journal. In five years, it has become a resource nurses use for self-care advice, career tips, and resilience strategies. Scala now makes an income from her work blogging for multiple sites, and she emphasizes the time and effort it takes to build that kind of equity. “It's a lot of work, but so much fun — which makes it feel more like play!”
If you want to make a living from a blog, be prepared to learn the ropes. Scala advises any potential bloggers to ensure they have clear, focused and useful content. “I wasted a lot of time early on not knowing exactly what my message was or how I helped others.” And don’t expect to be raking in a nurse’s typical salary by being a nurse blogger, especially in the beginning.
Potential job titles: Actually, this one is pretty simple — nurse blogger!
“As a nurse, you are powerful enough to save a life. Let nothing intimidate you.”
4. Insurance company nurse
While it may not be a sector that initially comes to mind, insurance companies need nurses. These nurses perform many tasks, like managing specific cases, medical coding, clinical research and insurance audits. They may also have a hand in treatment plans and evaluating illnesses.
Insurance companies do offer work-from-home positions, though you may need to have a few years of experience in a healthcare setting before that option is available.
Potential job titles: RN, nurse case manager, nurse practitioner, LPN, per diem nurse
5. Coding nurse
Medical coding is essential to keeping the healthcare world running smoothly. Current healthcare trends are impacting the future of medical coding and that means more opportunities for nurses who want to work from home.
The American Association of Clinical Coders & Auditors say nurses who specialize in informatics, or the integration of nursing, communication and information technology, will be working with teams of co-workers to make sure everything is implemented correctly.
Potential job titles: Director of nursing, nursing informatics specialist, nursing informatics analyst, chief nursing informatics officer
6. Consulting nurse
There are the specific nursing titles we’ve covered thus far, but there is no limit to the career options nurses can create for themselves. Amelia Roberts, BSN RN and social media coach knows nurses who founders of venture-backed companies, inventors, workers comp specialists, and consultants of all types.
The moral of the story is that nurses have an expertise many people (more than patients) need. “Nurses have skills and training that allow them to excel in many areas,” Roberts says. “Start ups need to have a consulting nurse’s point of view as nurses are the end user of many products. Nurse recommendations regarding User Experience are priceless. I know one nurse who consults in this way.”
“As a nurse, you are powerful enough to save a life,” Roberts says, encouraging nurses that they can truly thrive in the business world. “Let nothing intimidate you.”
Skills you need to work from home
As a nurse you need many nursing-specific skills to be successful. The same goes for working from home, where it can be tempting to take a long lunch or get side-tracked by your kids a few too many times.
Efficiency and productivity are extra important when your job depends on what you accomplish remotely. Necessary skills for working from home include self-motivation, organization and top-notch communication skills. If you think you might be lacking in any of these areas, put some work into their development.
You should know that you probably won’t find a cushy work-from-home nursing job straight out of school. But knowing those options are available further down the road can make all the difference in your plans for a nursing career.
The chance to work from home is certainly one perk of choosing a nursing career. But there are plenty of surprising reasons to consider nursing. Check out The 3-Day Workweek & 6 More Marvelous Benefits of Being a Nurse to see what benefits might await!