How to Work from Home as a Nurse Practitioner
There are a variety of opportunities available for work from home nurse practitioners, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about the different roles you can take on today, from case manager to women’s health specialist.
There's never been a better time for nurse practitioners to work from home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports telehealth visits increased 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020, compared with the same quarter in 2019.
Even more significantly, there was a 154 percent increase in telehealth visits in week 13 of 2020 vs. the same week in 2019. This rise in telehealth visits correlates with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s recommendation in February 2020 that health care facilities and clinicians offer clinical services through virtual means to bolster social distancing.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) now regularly provide clinical services to patients through telemedicine. Instead of meeting with patients face-to-face, nurse practitioners connect with patients virtually via software and electronic devices, including smartphones. But telemedicine is only one aspect of telehealth — a care delivery channel offering multiple roles for nurse practitioners who want to work at home.
Requirements needed to work remotely as a nurse or nurse practitioner
There are many job options for nurses and nurse practitioners who want to work remotely, and requirements are as varied as the available positions. There are opportunities for both Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), those with high school diplomas who have LPN certification, and Registered Nurses (RNs), who typically hold a two- or four-year degree in nursing.
Nurse practitioners who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have completed NP-focused master's or doctoral nursing programs are even more in demand for a broader scope of positions.
What jobs can you do remotely as a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners can choose full-time or part-time healthcare positions that allow them to work at home. State laws dictate what licensure, education, supervision, and training telemedicine practitioners must hold. Nurse practitioners in states that allow them to independently work via telemedicine can find many work-at-home positions, including advanced roles that involve consulting specialists who work in hospitals and other healthcare sites. But that's just the beginning. Consider these work from home opportunities for nurse practitioners.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reports that 89 percent of NPs are qualified to provide care in a primary care focus area. These focus areas include adult care, family care, gerontology, pediatrics, women’s health, and more. In some states, NPs can open their own practices offering primary care services or team with physicians who provide them.
The AANP also notes that the NP’s scope of practice includes caring for and diagnosing patients with a wide variety of conditions. The most frequent NP diagnoses are:
Abdominal pain (69.4%)
Urinary tract infections (66.7%)
The AANP also reported 96.2% of NPs prescribe pharmacologic agents. That number varied depending on the NPs certification, work setting, and other variables.
Legal nurse consultant
NPs are often needed to work with attorneys and insurance providers on various cases. The NP’s medical training and expertise helps these professionals better understand complex medical records and research. NPs also work to analyze records and offer alternative interpretations and viewpoints.
NPs are among the most proficient professionals when it comes to discussing, analyzing, and prescribing pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and equipment. This is also one of the major reasons medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies seek NPs as sales representatives and marketing consultants.
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
Experienced psychiatric mental health NPs are needed to counsel patients on various issues related to psychology, behavioral health, and addiction. Although counseling was once primarily done in person, the American Psychological Association (APA) notes that online therapy has grown as more and more studies prove its effectiveness. The sophistication of technology and onset of COVID prompted the APA to note that remote counseling is 'here to stay."
The Nurse Journal reports that NPs are needed to work with other healthcare professionals to develop care plans for patients and monitor those patients' progress. Most case managers work for hospitals, residential care facilities, and insurance providers.
Remote telephone triage
NPs in this role take video or audio calls from patients, analyze their symptoms and medical histories, and direct them to the proper care provider. Telephone triage boomed as concerns about COVID-19 expanded.
Home care agencies hire NPs to assess clients, offer treatment plans, and monitor the clients' progress.
NPs are among the specialists needed to investigate, analyze, and identify those with positive COVID diagnoses. The work includes finding recent contacts, notifying those contacts of possible infection, and advising the contact about the importance of testing and how to lessen the spread of COVID.
Remote learning isn't just for children in grade school. Universities, colleges, and other educational institutions now regularly hire NPs to work remotely as instructors for nursing students and other healthcare professionals.
Many Boomers remember the school nurse who often treated ill kids in a particular area of the school. Now NPs can provide many types of care to students through telemedicine.
The increase in remote healthcare opportunities includes specialists in women's health. NPs in these roles offer virtual care to women through video, instant messaging, and other remote communication.
Nursing World reports that the demand for nurses is expected to grow continually. The Affordable Care Act, aging Baby Boomers who need a larger array of services, and an increased focus on community health care are some of the major contributing factors to this demand. Now more than ever, those educated and trained in healthcare have a wealth of employment opportunities, many of which don't require them to leave home.
What is the difference between a nurse practitioner and a registered nurse?
The main difference between nurse practitioners and registered nursing is education, training, and licensure. Registered nurses have two- or four-year degrees and nursing program completion.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with four-year Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degrees. After completing their BSN and nursing program completion, they completed NP-specific masters or doctoral nursing programs.
States grant licenses and practice scopes. Those with NPs have more responsibility, work more independently, and prescribe medications in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
What is the average salary for a remote nurse?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not break down salaries for nurses that work remotely. The latest BLS figures show that RNs earn an average of $75,330 annually or $36.22 per hour. BLS reports that nurse practitioners earn median salaries of $114,510 or $55.05 per hour.
What jobs can registered nurses do from home?
Case management, telephone triage nurse, and call center nurse are just a few of the jobs that RNs can perform from home, as noted by Nurse.org . Note that under the Nurse Licensure Compact, registered nurses can practice in other NLC states without having to obtain additional licenses.
Can NPs work remotely?
Yes, nurse practitioners can work remotely in an array of jobs, including telemedicine.
How do I become a telehealth nurse practitioner?
The best way to become a telehealth nurse practitioner is to complete the educational, training, and licensure requirements in the state in which you want to work. You will then have the qualifications needed for telehealth nurse practitioner positions.
Interested in a telehealth position you can do from home? Wheel is actively seeking nurse practitioners. Learn more about working in telehealth and apply today!