When you decided to become a nurse, you probably envisioned long hours at the hospital taking blood pressure, filing patient records, and generally doing grunt work while you make your way up the ladder. And if you’ve been an RN for a while, you’ve probably put in plenty of time doing that kind of nursing. But there are dozens of different nursing jobs out there, and many of them are much more unconventional than you imagine. According to the American Nursing Association, there are nearly 3 million employed RNs in America. While about 60 percent of them work in hospitals, 40 percent enjoy less traditional careers. Due to the vast increase in telehealth and increased need for remote medical care, more and more nurses are working from home. But how exactly does that work? It turns out there are many different fields for nurses with flexible schedules who want to make money from their living room.
1. Telephone Triage Nurse
The most coveted and often highest-paying job for at-home nurses is working the triage department of a hospital, clinic, insurance company, or private healthcare provider. Certain kinds of telephone triage nurses, like those who work in an emergency room, might work from an office, but if you are an experienced nurse who works specialized cases, you can often work from your house. Patients usually talk to triage nurses to pre-determine the kind of care they need or see if they’ve been scheduled correctly or referred to the right specialist. Patient records can be pulled up online, and sometimes nurses will make appointments or other phone calls on a patient’s behalf.
2. Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcription is a specialized job that often requires extra training, but registered nurses are ahead of the pack when it comes to knowing the terminology needed for the job. Whether you work for a hospital or private facility, transcribing is almost always an at-home job. It may not pay as much as other nursing jobs, but when a part-time nurse needs to supplement their income, this is a great go-to source for employment. It’s also a valuable skill to have when competing with other nurses for jobs in the future.
3. Home Healthcare Provider
With the rapidly aging population, this is one of the nursing jobs that’s on the rise. It does involve making visits to patients at their homes for part of the day, but the majority of paperwork and other tasks the nurse needs to complete are done from their own home. This can be a similar career to triage nursing, but the night shifts and weekends in the telephone are exchanged for more in-person visits, which suit many nurses who are looking for a more stable work schedule.
Nurses are often employed by pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical equipment and other products to help lend credibility to their sales. You could be required to answer customers’ questions, gather feedback, or provide valuable information about how a product can help a particular patient. You might be required to meet with clients in person, but most of the work can easily be done from home, especially if you are marketing software or providing medical consultation.
5. Legal Nurse Consultant
A fairly new profession in the field of nursing, legal nurse consultants are hired by attorneys to help them understand medical records and information related to cases and help promote a client’s best interests. Other legal nurse consultants work for risk management departments in insurance companies and government agencies. If you’re certified in this field, you can even set up your own small business and provide your services to different clients for a fee.
If you’re an RN, you may be looking outside the box for nursing jobs that work better for your family and personal life and help you avoid competition with the younger crop of nurses joining the field for the first time. There’s no reason not to explore the various work-at-home opportunities available to you. As more of America starts to embrace a less-traditional work schedule and use the benefits of technology to the fullest, nurses can be sure that they won’t get left behind.
Writer Brent Harris is an avid blogger. Interested in practicing as a nurse from home? You may want to check out an msn nursing informatics.