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Beyond the Bedside: How To Become a Fully Remote Nurse

May 4, 2021

Nursing is a diverse profession with many pathways to choose from. You don't have to work at a hospital or even outside of your home. Many opportunities have opened for nurses to work from the comforts of their own home or favorite vacation spot. In this article, we spoke with Veronica Olivo, RN about how she transitioned from a bedside nurse to a remote nursing position and the benefits this transition offered her.

Nurses can work from home

Over recent years, there has been an increased need for nurses to fulfill a consulting role, which has opened many new job opportunities. Not only are nurses able to work in healthcare organizations, but they can also work from home. Remote jobs allow you to have greater control of your time. Due to the flexibility, many nurses choose to transition from the bedside nurse roles to working fully remotely. Different aspects of a bedside nurse role can have a negative impact on nurses that can motivate the shift to a remote setting. This can include:

Bedside nursing fatigue

Nurses are expected to perform at an optimal level when caring for patients. Staffing issues, increased patient acuities and the inability to take breaks play a huge role in bedside nursing fatigue.

Long workdays

There are pros and cons when nurses work 12-hour days. Nurses can work three 12-hour shifts and have fewer patient handoffs, more time off and less commute time. However, when working in an environment where short staffing is a problem, time off is not always approved. Additionally, working 12-hour plus days can take a toll on your health and increase the potential for errors.

High stress

Working at the bedside as a nurse can be very rewarding but also very stressful and emotionally laborious. You are caring for patients at their worst and hoping to help them get better, but what happens when they don't? Nursing is not just a job. It can also take an emotional toll if working with inadequate staffing levels and long hours past your scheduled shift.

What does a remote nurse do?

Technology has allowed nurses to work remotely by communicating with patients via video conferencing, monitoring their progress, providing patient education and providing proper follow-up. However, working remotely is not only for patient-related situations but also for teaching nursing students, nurse recruitment and even freelance writing.

How to become a remote nurse

To become a remote nurse, you'll need to complete the following steps:

  • Attend nursing school
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam for licensure
  • Gain experience at the bedside, if necessary
  • Earn any nursing certifications, if required

Related: Remote Nursing Jobs Have Increased 392% Since March—Here’s How To Get One

Types of remote registered nurse jobs

If you are looking to transition from the bedside to fully remote, here are some remote jobs for nurses!

Transitioning from bedside to remote nurse

We spoke with a registered nurse, Veronica Olivo, RN, to learn about how she transitioned from bedside nurse to a fully remote nurse.

Question: What made you transition from the bedside to fully remote as a nurse?
Answer: “Honestly, I was tired of always going into work and not knowing if I would leave at the end of my shift or if I had to stay longer due to staffing issues, patient acuity, or charting.”

Q: What is your current remote nursing job?
A: “I work as a clinical appeals nurse for an insurance company where I review patient charts and ensure that the appropriate billing codes are assigned for proper reimbursement. I am also involved in the insurance appeal process and can investigate any fraudulent charges made to the insurance company. I love what I am doing now because I can work from anywhere, and as long as I have my laptop, I am good to go!”

Q: Have you missed working at the bedside since transitioning to working fully remotely?
A: “Sometimes, I miss the social aspect, such as eating lunch with coworkers. Other times, I miss the patient 1:1 interaction, but now I am not as stressed as I was before and can plan vacations without stressing about a work schedule. I can literally work from anywhere.”

Finding the right remote nursing job for you

If you are interested in transitioning from the bedside to working fully remote, many non-bedside remote jobs can be found by visiting Indeed.com. Make sure to read the position titles, descriptions, and locations carefully, and use keywords such as "remote," "telehealth," in addition to "nurse." Finding remote job opportunities can take time, but it's possible to find the ideal remote nursing job that will provide you the perfect work-life.

Related: Roles Beyond the Bedside: Remote Nursing Jobs

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