Nurse on phone looking at computer screens while working from home

With many direct patient care nurses and healthcare workers feeling burned out and exhausted, working from home can sound like a refreshing alternative. The reasons for wanting to work from home are compelling, with the 2019 State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs finding remote workers report less stress, a better work-life balance, and more productivity. But where can you find a remote job? A quick online search may yield confusing results. However, finding work from home as a nurse is not as difficult as you might think. These tips will help you decide if a career switch is right for you and help you begin your remote job search. 

Consider Non-Bedside Positions in the Facility Where You Currently Work

Hospitals hire nurses to do case management, utilization review and management, clinical documentation, and even coding. Gaining this experience on site is valuable since these skills can be utilized remotely, whether you transition to remote work for your current hospital or choose to move on to a larger corporation.

Network at Your Current Job

Many remote and non-bedside jobs can be found through word of mouth. Does your unit or clinic have a regular rotation of medical devices or pharmaceutical representatives? Ask if they could let you know when their company has an opening in your area. Perhaps they could even pass on your resume to human resources. Many devices and pharmaceutical companies employ nurses as educators, liaisons, and even salespeople, and the best way to find these jobs is to network with the people who already work there.

Crowdsource on Social Media

Look for like-minded nurses in groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, and browse posts and comments. When a nurse mentions a company that hires remote nurses, visit the company's website, and bookmark the career page. As you read through social media posts, make a list of companies who hire nurses to work remotely and visit each company's career page often since new jobs can be added daily. Stay engaged and ask questions. If someone mentions working for a company you're interested in, reach out to them! They may know of an opening or even be able to share a recruiter's contact information. The best resource for finding a remote job is employees who are already working remotely. It pays to connect with them to find out their position title and learn about their employer and what they do.

Carefully Read Position Titles, Job Descriptions, and Locations

One of the biggest challenges of finding remote jobs is knowing exactly how to search. A good place to start is including keywords in your search, such as "telehealth" or "remote" in addition to "rn" or "nurse." Also, don't get stuck on one job title. While one company might call a position a "nurse navigator," another might call the same role as a "nurse educator." Those jobs can entail similar responsibilities, so it is important to read each description carefully to determine whether you meet the requirements. When searching, don't limit yourself to your geographic area. It's entirely possible to work for a large corporation in Michigan while living in rural Missouri. Do a nationwide "telehealth" or remote" keyword search, start reading job titles and descriptions, and base your job search off of your results. Alternative keywords to try are "virtual" and "telecommute."

Note Keywords Used in the Job Description and Include Them in Your Resume

Large companies who hire remote nurses tend to have many applicants, so it's important to make your resume stand out. If a job description mentions a particular word or skill several times, include it in your resume. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each posting. Companies use applicant tracking systems to find candidates who are qualified, and it's important to get your resume past the software and into the hands of a human. You may find it helpful to have one master resume and tweak it accordingly. Make sure to save the updated version as well. Maintaining several versions of your resume can help save time, as you may find yourself applying at many companies for the same type of job. If you have the incredible luck to get a recruiter or human resources staff member's contact information, send them an email letting them know you applied but wanted to reach out to them directly as well, and attach your resume. The field of remote work in healthcare is ever-changing and has exciting growth potential. Finding remote opportunities takes time and patience, and you might apply for several jobs before you get an interview. However, with consistent research, networking, and resume refining, it's possible to find a remote role with the perfect balance of satisfaction at work and the flexibility to spend time at home.

Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB
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