As the telehealth field grows with the progression of new and improved technologies, more jobs are emerging for nurse practitioners. This article will compare the salary of a traditional, in-person nurse practitioner with the salary of a telehealth nurse practitioner. We will carefully break down what variables impact the salary of a telehealth nurse practitioner. We will also consider ways you can maximize your potential earnings through partnerships with companies dedicated to connecting telehealth providers with experienced nurse practitioners looking to make a lasting impact on their patients.
Telehealth Nurse Practitioners
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth provides more opportunities for patients to connect with their doctor. In telehealth, medical care is combined with innovative telecommunication technologies to extend the options for care if a patient and a doctor cannot be in the same place at the same time for any reason.
As long as someone has access to a device connected to the internet, you can easily participate in a telehealth visit.
There are almost no limitations to what telehealth can do, including talking with a doctor live via video chat and sending and receiving messages from a doctor. Telehealth has even expanded to allow doctors and NPs to remotely monitor patients using devices that gather ECG and other vitals.
The American Hospital Association acts as a strong supporter for hospitals looking to adopt more telehealth services. More than half of hospitals located in the U.S. connect with patients using video and other technologies. Considering the benefits of expanded patient access are numerous, it is no surprise that telehealth is becoming a large portion of the medical field.
What is a Telehealth Nurse Practitioner?
You may have a role in the new world of telehealth when you choose to become a telehealth nurse practitioner (NP).
A nurse practitioner working in telehealth provides high-quality care to their patients with the aid of video, email, messaging, and phone technologies.
For patients, a major benefit of this remote connection is instant access to specialized care when it may be impossible to travel or receive access to a specialist. A telehealth nurse practitioner eliminates some of the headache patients might feel when dealing with minor health problems.
Using remote technology, such as video chat or online messaging, patients can share what they are experiencing with a capable NP. That nurse practitioner can then go about determining whether someone needs emergency care, requires an in-person appointment, or proceed with treatment without further guidance.
Telehealth NPs provide a variety of vital services, although their responsibilities may vary between location and specialty.
As a telehealth nurse practitioner, you often:
- Assist and consult with patients over the phone or using video chat
- Educate patients about managing their symptoms
- Provide pre- and post-surgical care
- Support medical response teams bringing patients into a hospital
- Schedule appointments
Other NPs help reduce the patient load of a hospital by assisting doctors with certain tasks and provide medical advice for minor health issues. Telehealth nurse practitioners now can even monitor patient vitals remotely, including oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, and blood glucose.
Traditional Nurse Practitioner Salary vs. Telehealth Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a traditional nurse practitioner makes a median wage equal to or greater than $109,820 per year. Unfortunately, the BLS does not currently have statistics for the relatively new career of a telehealth NP.
ZipRecruiter offers a clear picture of the annual salary for a telehealth nurse practitioner.
As of Aug 22, 2020, the average annual pay in the United States is $103,220 a year for a telehealth nurse practitioner.
While ZipRecruiter records annual salaries as high as $145,500 and as low as $30,000, the majority of Telehealth Nurse Practitioner salaries currently range between $84,000 to $116,500 across the United States.
Based on these trusted statistics, telemedicine seems to pay slightly less per year on average. This percentage hovers around 6%, so the disparity is not extremely wide between traditional and telehealth nurse practitioner salaries.
Variables That Can Make a Big Difference on Salary
Telehealth is an ideal remote job, but your location still matters when it comes to what patients you can legally see. We recommend getting your license in multiple states, because this allows you to have a broader population of potential patients. You can make more in a telehealth position if you can practice in more than one state.
Several factors also determine the best states to be licensed to practice telehealth for, including overall population size and volume of telemedicine users.
Some states, especially those with larger populations, have a high volume of people who use telemedicine options.
You can also optimize your telehealth career by choosing to get a license in states known to pay a better salary for telehealth nurse practitioners. These include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, New Hampshire, and Hawaii. Below, you can see the average hourly and yearly wage for telehealth NPs in those states. Keep in mind that these numbers represent an average that may differ depending on other factors.
- New York: $113,219
- Massachusetts: $112,148
- Washington: $111,336
- New Hampshire: $109.147
- Hawaii: $107,710
A nurse practitioner's choice of specialty might set them up for a higher salary. Certain specializations allow traditional, in-person nurse practitioners to make over $100,000 per year. For telehealth nurse practitioners, multiple factors could determine their salary for any of these high-paying specializations. Keep in mind that even in-person NPs in any specialty may make less depending on facility type, experience, geographic location, and tenure.
The following list of 9 nurse practitioner specialties uses information last updated on August 27, 2020. Salary.com lists these specialties as nurse practitioner positions that earn more than $100,000 in salary every year.
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Emergency Nurse Practitioner
- Cardiac Nurse Practitioner
- Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
- Oncology Nurse Practitioner
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Keep in mind that certain specialties cannot be done via telehealth due to their nature, including anesthesiologists and surgical nurse practitioners. These high-paying specialties are therefore not included on the above list.
The amount of time you dedicate to a telehealth nurse practitioner job will be indicative of your salary as well. Compared to part-time roles, you can make much more working remotely in a full-time telehealth job.
Consider the time you want to start your workday. If you decide you want to work part-time, you need to be wise about the time of day you set your hours for. A nurse practitioner located on the west coast will not be consulting with many east coast patients if they start working later in the evening. Ultimately, be smart about where you are working from, what patients you can accept, and how the time of day factors into patient volume.
Nurse practitioners have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting a position, whether it is in-person or telehealth-based. Your options for telemedicine jobs has never been more open as telemedicine grows in popularity. Different positions come with a varying pay scale, and of course still depend on location, specialization, and other factors.
The demand for basic telehealth positions has begun to expand rapidly across the United States. Plenty of hospitals and telehealth providers need NPs capable of assessing and monitoring patients, identifying risk, and training and educating patients on how to correctly use accompanying telehealth devices.
Telehealth opens up the world of medicine to provide a broader, more impactful form of care to patients in need. Areas that are rural or less likely to have the correct specialty doctors or nurses nearby benefit from in-hospital collaboration via telehealth providers.
A nurse practitioner looking for a telehealth position might consider lending their services to innovative telehealth ICU programs that alleviate pressure on understaffed ICUs. Telehealth ICUs allow hospitals to remotely monitor patients to manage wounds or sepsis, ultimately freeing up NPs for other tasks elsewhere.
Those with prior experience or expertise in a NICU might be attracted to a telehealth NICU position. Areas implementing these programs require neonatal care experts who can offer guidance for respiratory issues to avoid unnecessary transfer of at-risk newborns.
Home care was an early adopter of telehealth methods and continues to expand in that area. Nurse practitioner positions in the area of home care telehealth lead to better outcomes for home-bound patients.
School nurse positions may also rely on the use of telehealth nurse practitioners to supplement care. Telehealth can allow more collaboration between NPs to treat children faster and more accurately.
Telehealth nurse practitioners are turning to writing positions to help spread information related to health and wellness to a broader population of people. These positions include article writers, Q&A forum moderators, and editors.
Opportunities for NPs to help with research through a telehealth position are endless. Research positions include reviewing treatments and medications or verifying claims for insurance companies.
Nurse practitioners, especially ones who specialize in a particular area, become a fount of knowledge after several years of practice. Telehealth opens up room for NPs with specialty experience to design online courses to teach others remotely.
Nurse practitioners offer a highly specialized set of skills for people caught in many different situations. Telehealth services connect nurse practitioners with more opportunities to share their knowledge and put their skills to use. You can thank this deluge of online job opportunities on the incredible advances made in telecommunication technologies that allow people all over the world to gain access to the expert opinions and advice of trusted nurse practitioners.
Many nurse practitioners looking to break into the online world of telemedicine have partnered with companies that assist them in doing so, like Wheel.
Wheel connects NPs to different telehealth providers so that most of the hard work of finding patients happens for them. Telehealth providers handle factors like work structure and pay, plus those same providers provide the NPs they employ with flexible hours. Partnerships offer NPs an easier way to begin making a dependable salary in telehealth.
Wheel gives nurse practitioners an easy way to launch their telehealth career without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Our partners have plenty of diverse job opportunities through our services. We are always interested in helping more nurse practitioners make a good match for their first telehealth position. You can find a telehealth position that will work for your lifestyle, including flexible and unique options.
Telemedicine jobs offer nurse practitioners a way to continue providing expert advice and care to patients even from the comfort of their home.
Every day more opportunities open up for those interested in pursuing a career in telehealth. Many variables determine how much a nurse practitioner might make when transitioning into a role in telehealth as opposed to an in-person, traditional position.
While on average, telehealth NPs make less yearly than a traditional NP, they can increase how much they earn depending on location, time, specialization, position, and partnerships. Companies like Wheel serve as a jump start to your telehealth career and give you the clinician-first information and service you need to do well.