Obviously, most jobs for nurses are the hands-on variety, but there are certainly some jobs for nurses that can be performed from a remote location, like a home office. Teleheath—the practice of delivering health-related services by way of telecommunication technology—is a growing industry. And while not all—or even most—of telehealth services are delivered from a work-at-home environment, it is a field where telecommuting is possible. But beyond telehealth, there are many non-clinical jobs for nurses that may be telecommuted.
In most cases, home-based jobs for nurses are tied to a physical office and often require a certain amount of time working in that office before teleworking can begin. Licensure in a particular state is usually necessary as well. Some jobs may require extensive local travel, and nurses in these jobs may only use their home office as an administrative base, not a place where work it performed.
The positions listed below are, for the most part, for RNs (often BSNs). It's tougher for LPNs to find home-bases work, but there are some work-at-home jobs for LPNs, though they are not actually nursing positions.
For an overview of how to use nursing experience and credentials to land a work-at-home position, read this article: Work at Home in Nursing and then see Companies That Offer Work-at-Home Jobs for Nurses.
Types of Work-at-Home Jobs for Nurses:
Medical Call Center Agent
Nurses at medical call centers usually perform telephone triage, give medical advice or check on patients’ well-being and health habits. They both make and receive calls, depending on their specific job. Insurance companies and medically focused BPOs (business process outsourcers) hire nurses for these positions, which may be in an office or from home. These jobs are for RNs and BSNs, not usually LPNs. These are typically employment positions, but it is possible they could be contract jobs. There are some customer service jobs at medical call centers that might hire LPNs (see work-at-home jobs for LPNs) or other non-nurses with medical experience.
Nurses with teaching experience may be able to use those skills at an online college--either as an instructor or as a developer for nursing courses. Online education is growing field as both completely online colleges and brick-and-mortar colleges expand their web-based course offerings, including many nursing classes. Typically at least a master's degree is required. Online teaching is also a good way for a physician to work from home. See more work-at-home physician jobs.
Case managers work to coordinate care for patients, many large insurance companies allow telecommuting in some case management positions, usually after a period working in an office. Some job titles in case management include care coordinator, patient advocate, utilization review RN and Medicare and worker’s compensation specialist. While most of these type positions are for employees, you could start a business as a patient advocate based from home.
Legal Nurse Consultant
In this position nurses consult with lawyers, paralegals and other legal experts about medical issues related to law, such as personal injury, malpractice, worker’s comp, and more. A legal nurse consultant might be an independent contractor or could be employed by a firm. Either way, the job could mean working from a home office part of the time. However, some time traveling or work in an office would be required.
Health Care Recruiting
Nursing is only one of many backgrounds that can be an asset in health care recruiting. Recruiting, because it involves heavy phone and computer use, can often be done, at least part time, from home. Nurses in this field are often employees but this can be a home business opportunity as well.
Health IT/Nursing Informatics
IT jobs in general can often be work at home, but both the specific field of health IT and general information technology usually require time working in an office environment and a high level of skill before transitioning to work at home. Nurses may move into this work by learning on the job and eventually make the move to telecommuting full or, more likely, part time.
For more on this field see this profile of health IT jobs.
Nurses with business experience may find work in the health care industry in positions such as project manager or quality consultant. While many of these positions require on-site work, some can be telecommuted at least part time.
Management of nurses working in any of the above positions may possibly be done from home as well.