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  1. I would like to hear from fellow nurses who have left the ambulatory/clinic world and switched to a remote (work at home) position. What are the cons? Any regrets? Thanks!
  2. Recently I penned a post about why nurses should join the gig economy. I don’t deny I’m high on gig work for one simple reason: I’m a gig worker, myself. Specifically, I’m a freelance writer. And I love showing other nurses the possibilities of a writing career to: Earn great moneyFree up valuable time to spend with familyUse their nursing knowledge and skills to positively impact massive audiences of peopleFall in love with their career againIf you’ve ever wondered how you could earn a living (or make extra cash) as a writer, here are two possibilities that can be considered tailor-made for nurses. 1. Healthcare Content MarketingThis is the type of writing I do, and it’s an excellent choice for nurses to pursue. Content marketing writing might be aimed at patients (such as a health system newsletter for patients with diabetes) or at executives (such as a technology blog for CNOs). Nurses can excel at this type of writing because they bring to it an insider knowledge of healthcare that other writers just don’t have. Clients prize this added insight because it helps them achieve their business objectives: acquiring new patients, selling more products or expanding their influence in a community (among other things). The umbrella term ‘healthcare content marketing’ covers many types of writing, including: Web pagesGhostwritten blog posts for clinicians and thought leadersEbooksWhite papersCase studiesBrand journalism (reporting on health for a healthcare company instead of a news organization)Digital newslettersInfographicsScriptsBrochures and pamphletsSlideshows…and lots, lots more. Some of the clients you might serve as a freelance healthcare content marketing writer include: Hospitals and health systemsHealthcare technology companiesInsurance companiesMedical device manufacturersMedical supply companiesPrivate medical practicesMarketing agenciesHealthcare associationsI’ve been involved in this industry for nearly 10 years, and I can tell you the demand for healthcare content writers continues to build, year after year. Yet the vast majority of healthcare writers aren’t nurses or clinicians of any kind. That means now is a great time to finally explore that idea you’ve had of becoming a writer – and making an excellent living at it! 2. Medical CommunicationDo you geek out over reading research studies? Love digging into the MOA of drugs? Then you might love a career in medical communication. Professional medical communicators work with research scientists, institutions, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the government and others to produce hard-core scientific assets like: Manuscripts for publication in research journalsPolicy and regulatory documents for institutions and the governmentContinuing medical education modulesDrug applicationsMarketing materials related to new drugsGrant proposals…and, again, much more. Nurses make excellent medical communicators because of their educational background in the biological sciences, among other attributes. This type of writing typically pays very well, due to the level of scientific expertise required for accuracy. Can a Nurse Really Make Money at This?Nurses pursue freelance writing for many reasons. For me, the main reason I became a writer was because I loved personally educating patients and felt frustrated that I could only work with maybe five or six people a day. Listening to me kvetch about this one evening after a shift, my late husband commented, “You know, with a single article on a website like WebMD you could reach literally a million people all at once.” Lightbulb moment. And a career was born. But, yes, as it turns out you can make excellent money as a writer. Personally, I routinely gross over six figures per year. It didn’t take me long to reach that level, either: five years. I had a previous background in freelancing, though, so I understood the ropes a bit better. That said, I’ve also mentored nurses who had zero background in freelancing and achieved six figures in less than two years. So, yeah. You can make money at this. What Kind of Investment is Required to Become a Freelance Nurse Writer?Unlike other types of business opportunities, becoming a freelance writer requires zero investment. It’s a zero-risk endeavor, because you can work from home, on your own computer, on your own hours, in your spare time to develop a client base. Later, you can decide if you want to leave the bedside for good and make your living as a nurse writer. Many nurses prefer to freelance on the side instead of making their business a full-time job. That’s the beauty of gig work like this: You can mold it to suit your own preferences and needs. Where can I Learn More?If you’re intrigued and want to find out more about freelance writing as a career, check out these resources: American Medical Writers AssociationAssociation of Health Care JournalistsAmerican Society of Journalists & AuthorsContent Marketing InstituteRN2WriterI’m happy to answer any questions, too!
  3. Each day I wake up for another day the same as yesterdayI make my coffee and turn on my computer, browsing my emails before anything else. For the last several weeks, there are constantly new updates surrounding Covid-19. New training guidelines, new questions to discuss with patients, changes from the CDC and updates regarding medication dispensing. Help for the fightThere are also constant requests from state governors, healthcare agencies and boards of nursing requesting additional healthcare personnel to help fight this virus. Requesting nurses to come out of retirement. Waiving reinstatement fees and extending licensure renewals. They are almost begging. My heart races and my stomach drops – I feel guiltyMy social media feeds are flooded with pictures and videos of nurses crying, quitting their jobs due to fear, risking their lives working without proper PPE, or simply braving the virus and taking a risk because of their oath of caring for others cannot be shaken. Should I be out there?I stepped away from the bedside in 2018. I was fortunate to find a position as a Case Manager with the added benefit of working from home. I am young and do not have a family I am supporting or worried about spreading the virus to. I should be out there. In fact, I did reach out to my employer about the possibility of taking leave to help on the frontlines, but this was not granted. I would be lying if part of me wasn’t a tiny bit relieved. I believe that most nurses, healthcare professionals in general, have a sense of needing to help. If you ask a nurse why they chose their profession, that is likely the answer you will receive. We seem to naturally possess traits of compassion, selflessness, and empathy. We are also (usually) stellar at teamwork and critical thinking. Unfortunately, the traits of a nurse can be detrimental. To ourselves. We tend to put the oxygen mask on someone else before ourselves, metaphorically speaking. We do not often make ourselves a priority. I partly blame our healthcare environments for this. They have conditioned us to accept more responsibility with less support. To be a “team player.” To pick up extra shifts when we are exhausted. To work when we are unwell ourselves. And now, nurses are being exposed to a deadly virus and are not being provided basic PPE, yet they are expected to accept these conditions without complaint. There is not a soul that does not support our frontline nurses during this time. Truthfully, I do not feel there is enough being done to support them (free donuts and shoes is barely a band-aid) but that is an article in itself… I am grateful and I am necessaryAt the end of the day I am grateful I do not have to make the decisions our frontline nurses do. I must remind myself that the work I do is also helpful and necessary. That I am still supporting my patients in a different manner by educating them, ensuring they have necessary supplies and medications and that they are staying home, in turn hopefully making a small dent in lessening the burden of hospitals and our brave nurses. I hope that nurses are feeling confident enough in their WORTH to make the decisions that are right for them and their families. To know that their fear is valid and if they are scared or feeling unsupported that they need to use their voices. Remember that nursing is so vast with so many opportunities, and if your employer does not value you in a crisis, they do not deserve you. LastlyI want our frontline nurses to know that we stand with them in solidarity. We are crying and praying along with them. We admire their sacrifice and will never judge whatever tough decisions they may make during this time.
  4. tawill5

    RN Remote Opportunities

    Hi, everyone. I am interested in obtaining a remote position. I've had a stellar nursing career; however, I would like to continue along a new pathway. I'd love any enlightenment. Thanks so much!📥📥👍😃
  5. Melissa Mills

    Work From Home: Nurse Case Manager

    Many nurses have the dream of working from home. But, how? There are several different types of work at home nurse positions. One of the most common work from home nursing positions is a nurse case manager. Case managers work for insurance companies, hospitals, home care, hospice and managed care organizations to name a few. Some nurse case manager positions are a combination of work from home and onsite duties. While others are 100% work from home, telephonic positions. Each individual type of case manager will have specific job duties based on the industry and type of patient or client. There are specific tasks or duties that all case management positions will complete: Caseload Management Case managers have a caseload of clients to manage. Average caseload size varies depending on the industry and acuity of patients. Managing a caseload of clients includes managing the flux of admissions, discharges and changes in care that requires revisions to the case management plan. You will likely have an average daily production or number of visits or calls you will need make each day. At first, managing a large number of cases over months or even years may seem overwhelming. Over time, you will become more comfortable with the art of caseload management. Conduct Assessments All nurses who provide care or services to patients conduct assessments. Working in a telephonic environment is certainly no different. Conducting assessments over the phone can be challenging. You have only one sense to rely upon, your hearing. You must become very attuned not only to what the patient or client says, but how they say it. Just as nurses in hands-on care positions, you will collect a health history, medication assessment and create a list of current problems. With each assessment, the case manager uses critical thinking and clinical skills to ensure the patient receives the education needed to make sound health decisions. Care Coordination All case managers assist their patients with coordination of care or services. You will be assessing the patient's primary care needs, education needs and the need for other support services. You will become familiar with providers within the client's service area. If you would for an insurer, you will likely need to have working knowledge of their policies and products so that you can easily coordinate covered and noncovered services. Patient Advocate Nurses advocate for their patients.The role of the case manager can oftentimes come with a few tricks in the department of advocacy. For example, if you feel that a patient needs to have an MRI of their shoulder, but the insurance company does not cover this test, how should you proceed when you work for the insurance company? Do you advocate for the patient and attempt to get the test approved? Do you advocate for your employer and simply accept that the test is not covered? This can be a tough situation for case managers to navigate. A general rule of thumb is to always advocate on the behalf of the patient. Even if services are not readily available, there will be a way to get the patient the care they need. You may have to reevaluate the situation and brainstorm for another answer. Create and Update a Case Management Plan The Case Management Plan is a tool. This tool helps you to collaborate with the patient to create goals they want and need to accomplish. The means by which the goals are achieved are interventions. The interventions will likely be items that both you, as the case manager and the patient will need to complete in order to meet the goals. As the patient achieves goals, you will create new goals. Most case management plans will have specific types of goals required base on the industry or specialty of the patients' needs. For example, if you work with injured workers, you will always create a goal specific to their plan to return to work. If you work with diabetics, you will likely have a goal that is specific to their medication management and daily glucose monitoring. Case Managers may not provide direct hands-on care, however, they are performing nursing tasks. They use their nursing knowledge to assess the patient's needs and create a plan. They work one on one for longer periods of time with their clients to achieve better overall health outcomes. If you think that case management may be for you, research the role of case managers. Below is a list of resources to learn more: CMSA Home - Case Management Society of America ACMA : American Case Management Association Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
  6. For starters, I currently work as a case management nurse for a major insurance company that most of the dear readers have probably heard of. In fact, my employer might even be the same company that insures you and/or your loved ones. The realm of case management is very new to me; in addition, this is my very first nursing position away from the bedside. Prior to securing this position, I had been a bedside nurse for approximately 10 years in specialties such as long term care and acute rehabilitation. So far I have been working in this non-bedside role for a handful of months. The learning curve has been considerably steep, but I am learning along the way. I work from a home office and must visit healthcare facilities to interview patients who are insured by the company that I work for. The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain whether these patients have any unmet needs that could possibly be funded by the insurance company, such as potential home modifications, dental care, vaccinations, or behavioral health treatments. If any unmet needs are identified, I must either assist in coordinating the services or make referrals to the appropriate insurance department to ensure the patient receives what they need. Furthermore, I must be on the lookout for costly trends such as revolving-door hospitalizations, frequent ER visits, unstable body weights, lack of a primary care provider, and a history of noncompliance with medications and treatments. In a nutshell, my role involves the coordination of services that will help insured persons to maintain or enhance their health. Here is a snapshot of a typical work day for me. 8:00 to 9:00 am:During the first hour of the day I log onto the company computer, check emails, and see whether any new candidates have been referred to me. If any new candidates have been referred, I look the patient up to find out his/her location and the type of evaluation that needs to be completed (if any). 9:00 to 10:00 am:Most of the facilities to which I've been assigned are located anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour from my home one way. Hence, I typically spend the second hour of my day driving to a particular facility. As a personal rule of thumb, I generally do not visit multiple health care facilities on the same day. 10:00 to 11:00 am:The late morning is normally spent reviewing the medical records of the patients that I plan to assess that day. I'm examining their diagnoses, medical history, medications, weight trends, physician consultations, social worker notes, and anything that will help paint a clearer picture of the situation at hand. 11:00 am to 1:00 pm:The middle of my work day is spent conducting interviews with inpatients to gather data for my assessments. As previously stated, the purpose of these encounters is to figure out whether any unmet needs exist and pinpoint any costly trends that could be corrected. I typically interview three to four patients per day. Each interview takes anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes to complete. 1:00 to 2:00 pm:This is my lunch hour. I normally spend it in the car driving from the facility back to the city where I live. 2:00 to 5:00 pm:The last part of the work day is spent typing and uploading assessments, evaluations, care plans, revisions to the plan of care, and more paperwork into the company computer. Sometimes I do this from the home office. On many occasions I do this from a place with a fast WiFi connection such as the public library, Starbucks, or Panera Bread Cafe, especially if the weather is pleasant. Overall, this position has been remarkably flexible. I can start my work day earlier or later if needed. Also, I can do more patient interviews and evaluations on a certain work day to catch up if I have fallen behind. My case load consists of about 150 patients and I am expected to see about 15 patients each week.
  7. Nurse Beth

    8 Work From Home Jobs

    In my career advice column, Ask Nurse Beth, I am asked so often about job opportunities away from the bedside, and just as often how to work from home. Why do nurses quit the bedside? There are so many reasons for leaving the bedside. Some nurses face age discrimination. Others have lost their passion and need a new start. With an emphasis on proactively managing health and improving outcomes, more opportunities are being created that use nurse's knowledge and skills. At some point, many of us dream of working from home. Picture yourself coffee cup in hand, slipper or flip flops on your feet, with your dog or cat nearby. Sounds great? Working from home is perfectly suited for the individual who enjoys minimal supervision. Most remote jobs require two to three years of clinical practice experience and MS Office skills such as Word and Excel (easily learned). First, identify your skills and what you're looking for in a job. Do you enjoy detail and digging deep to audit charts? Would you enjoy coaching and talking to patients on the phone, educating and coordinating? Here are some promising jobs for the nurse who wants to work from home. Note: Sometimes "work at home" jobs actually mean "based from home" with travel required. Sometimes work at home is allowed after working on-site for a time, such as a year. Telephonic Nursing/Nurse Hotline/Nurse Advice Line Telephonic nursing includes telephone triage where you'll provide health care guidance, support, and referrals for members. You help members decide if they need to go to an ED, or a provider's office, or manage their concerns at home. Case Manager Case Managers cover a range of jobs and responsibilities that vary from employer to employer. Essentially, Case Managers coordinate and collaborate to provide services across the continuum of care, using available resources to promote quality cost- effective outcomes. There is a ton of good advice on the Case Management forum . Some jobs require certification. Here's how to get Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) Certified. Eligibility requires a minimum of one year of case management experience, but does open more doors. Case Reviewers Case Reviewers review and abstract medical record data. Case reviewers may include Quality Reviewer, Field Nurse Case Workers, and Worker's Comp. Reviewers. Medical Claims Review Medical Claims Reviewers evaluate adults with chronic illness or disability to determine the level of care and eligibility for services. Often these are Medicare related, such as determining eligibility for Medicare Part B. Closely related is Clinical Appeals, where the nurse evaluates documentation used to approve or deny claims. Wellness Coach/Care Coach Wellness Coaches are hired to contact and coach individuals to help them meet their insurance plan's wellness goals. For example, an overweight individual may be called once a month by the coach and in this way held accountable. You assist members in navigating the healthcare system and help them move towards better health and wellness which assists in preventing hospital and ER visits. Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Specialist This is a rapidly growing field. The CDI Specialist is a liaison between providers who enter orders and coders. The CDI Specialist reviews and evaluates clinical records to determine accuracy and integrity of coding outcome versus clinical documentation and compliance with coding regulations and guidelines. You would use your knowledge of clinical documentation to make sure the coding accurately reflects the clinical episode of care and conforms to regulatory requirements. Online Nursing Faculty The distance nurse instructor facilitates online discussions and evaluates student performance. Depending on the program, this may require a graduate degree. Good for the nurse who loves teaching. Prior Authorization RN The Prior Authorization nurse performs medical necessity reviews for services that require prior authorization utilizing specific criteria. She/he collaborates with treating physicians and other healthcare professionals to gather necessary information needed to review the requested services. Use Job Search Engines Register with a job search engine such as Indeed and set your filters for "work at home" Other search keywords are "remote", "telecommute" and "distance online faculty". Start reading the different jobs available to see what's out there and what interests you. Companies That Offer Work at Home Jobs Aside from using job search engines, search companies sites for listings. Here are just a few large companies known to offer work from home jobs: Aetna, Anthem, AxisPoint, Medtronic, Cigna, CVS, Humana, McKesson, UnitedHealth Group Self-Employed Then there are those of us who are self-employed or have side hustles, like the nurse writers. Be sure and check out the Nurse Entrepreneurs/Innovators Hub for our inspiring stories! Here's mine: How I Became a Nurse Author and Wrote a Book! Best wishes on finding your dream job working from home.