Nursing Careers from Home
Telecommuting provides an attractive option for nurses seeking flexibility and work-life balance. Many large companies hire nurses to work from home doing a variety of jobs. Here's a look at three options: triage (also called telehealth), medical transcription and case management.
Over the past three years, McKesson Health Solutions, a healthcare services and IT provider, has increased its at-home worker population from 13 to more than 500 agents. Most are RNs who provide over-the-phone triage and disease-management services. Patients can call in with health questions, while nurses make outbound calls to patients with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
To qualify as a telehealth nurse for McKesson, candidates should have at least an associate's degree in nursing, three to five years of recent acute nursing experience, and strong clinical documentation and assessment skills. They should also be self-motivated and enjoy working independently. In addition, they must have strong Internet and typing skills and a working knowledge of Windows.
"We can offer nurses the kind of flexibility they often can't find in other jobs, " says Linda Casey, senior operations manager at McKesson. "We can ensure their schedule allows them time to attend their children's soccer games as well as other personal appointments."
Salaries and benefits for telehealth nurses are very competitive, and openings exist nationwide, Casey says.
Another option for nurses seeking to work from home is medical transcription, an occupation the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will experience faster-than-average growth through 2014.
Transcriptionists transcribe recordings made by physicians and other healthcare professionals into medical reports, correspondence and other administrative material.
Flexibility and the opportunity to set their own hours make medical transcription a viable career choice for nurses with young children or for those seeking a less-demanding job than traditional hospital work.
Community colleges and online providers, such as Career Step and Education to Go, offer medical transcription courses. Prices may vary significantly.
"Nurses who work in the medical transcription field can either obtain assignments from medical transcription service providers such as MedQuist and Spheris or become independent contractors and market their skills to local doctors and medical groups, " says Chris Dunn, president of Career Step, whose nine- to 12-month, self-paced online course has qualified many nurses to work in the field.
Who discouraged Florence Nightingale from a career in nursing and why
Her parents wanted her to be a mother and homemaker.
What are the benefits derived from home nursing?
Benefits to those who avail themselves of home nursing include:
- Not having to make trips to visit doctors or hospitals (though that would not be true in all situations)
- Terminally ill can pass away at home instead of in a hospital.
- Having home nursing care is emotionally and physically easier for the patient and family members in many cases.