Top 15 Pros And (Cons) Of Working From Home As A Nurse
Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Are you a nurse searching for ways to create more balance in your life? Do you enjoy working but wish you had more time to do the things you love? Does the idea of making your own schedule or working outside of a clinical setting interest you? If so, have you considered work from home nursing jobs? Maybe you thought of working from home but wonder, "What are the pros and cons of working from home as a nurse?”
In this article, I will share the top 15 pros and cons of working from home as a nurse. As you read, you will gather information to help you compare the advantages and disadvantages of working from home as a nurse. Then, you can decide if a work from home nursing job is something you wish to pursue.
WHAT ARE THE TOP CONS OF WORKING FROM HOME AS A NURSE?
(The following are the top 15 cons of working from home as a nurse.)
CON #1: You Must Be Intentional About Keeping Up Clinical Skills
One of the top cons of working from home as a nurse is you will not have daily opportunities to keep your clinical skills sharp. It is always a good idea to work at least a few PRN shifts here and there so you can continue to hone your skills and learn about new or emerging treatments, medical equipment, and healthcare advances. If you work for a healthcare company, your employer may have guidelines that allow you to rotate to clinical sites within their organizations to ensure your skills stay sharp. If your employer does not help facilitate working clinical hours, consider taking a weekend shift at a local hospital to get the continued clinical experience you need.
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CON #2: Working From Home Can Be Lonely
While there are some advantages to working independently, if you are a people person, you may find working from home as a nurse can be lonely. I have worked from home as a nurse writer for several years and enjoy the benefit of having a quiet workspace where I can get things done. However, I have also learned that scheduling days off and spending time with friends and loved ones helps me have a better work/life balance, which is essential for good mental and physical health
CON #3: You Must Be Tech-Savvy
While you may not need a degree in business or computers, work from home nursing jobs require you to have some knowledge of computers and other technology. If you prefer hands-on work to a telephone, tablet, or computer screen, you may find the need to be tech-savvy is one of the biggest disadvantages of working from home as a nurse.
CON #4: You May Need A Lot of Work Experience
Depending on the type of work from home nursing job you get, you may be required to have significant clinical experience. For example, if you work as a telehealth nurse, you may need several years of clinical nursing experience. There are other jobs, such as freelance writing, that may not require as much clinical experience. However, you do need to have some experience and an understanding of nursing and healthcare if you want to produce quality content.
CON #5: Additional Licenses or Certifications May Be Needed
Another of the cons of working from home as a nurse is you may need to obtain additional licenses or certifications. For example, if you work for a healthcare provider who provides services to patients in different states, you may need a Compact Nursing License
to be eligible for the job.
CON #6: You Must Be Self-Disciplined
Working from home as a nurse takes serious self-discipline. The benefit of not having someone stand over you to make sure your work gets done is a bit like a two-edged sword because, if you cannot maintain self-discipline and hold yourself accountable, you could fall behind on work. Employers who hire nurses to work from home expect us to do our jobs in a timely manner, as if we were working in a clinical setting with managers and supervisors overseeing our daily activities. It is an awesome opportunity to work from home, but you must take the responsibility seriously.
CON #7: You Will Not Provide Direct Patient Care
Another one of the top cons of working from home as a nurse is that you will not have direct contact with patients. Although many nurses enjoy stepping away from the clinical side of nursing, others thrive on developing in-person relationships with patients and colleagues. So, if providing direct patient care or working in a clinical setting are things you truly enjoy, you may feel at a disadvantage in a work from home nursing job.
CON #8: You Need a Dedicated Workspace
One thing I have learned working from home is the importance of having a dedicated workspace. Creating a workspace does not have to be a challenge. It is important, though, to have a place where you can keep things that are used strictly for work. If you live in a small house or apartment, you may struggle with finding a place to dedicate solely to work, which you may consider a disadvantage of working from home as a nurse.
CON #9: You May Be Required to Meet a Quota
Work from home nursing jobs have various requirements. One of the cons of working from home as a nurse is that some jobs may require you to meet a quota. For example, if your job requires you to make follow-up calls to patients following an inpatient admission or doctor’s office visit, you may be expected to contact a certain number of patients each day or week and document your encounters. If you have trouble reaching clients, you may not meet your quota, which could look like poor work production. In these cases, good documentation of your attempts to contact the patient is important.
CON #10: It is Easy to Become Distracted
I really hate to admit it, but one of the biggest disadvantages of working from home as a nurse is it is so easy to get distracted. When I first began working at home, getting distracted was the easiest. It took a while for me to realize that the only way to succeed working from home was to treat work as if I were working in a hospital or office. Although you have flexibility with scheduling when you work from home, if you create a work schedule with set hours, it is much easier to accomplish goals and stay on track.
CON #11: You Are On Your Own!
If you like the idea of working independently, working from home is a great option. However, one of the cons of working from home as a nurse is that there may be times when you need help or guidance, and it may not be as easily accessible as it would be in a regular nursing job. It is essential that you have a clear understanding of how to reach your supervisors or business partners and that you each have a plan for the turnaround time for answering phone messages or emails. Working from home and being successful is certainly possible, but if you work for others, you should always have plans for communicating.
CON #12: You May Need Help to Troubleshoot Computer Issues
Working from home as a nurse is a great option, but unless you know how to troubleshoot and repair computer issues, you could get stuck when technology problems arise. Be sure to talk with potential employers to verify the equipment you must have to work for them. Also, ask if they provide equipment or have people available to help you when unexpected problems arise.
CON #13: You May Not Feel Challenged
Working from home can sometimes feel monotonous. If you like the hustle and bustle of working in a busy hospital or healthcare setting, you may feel that work from home nursing jobs do not challenge you enough. Being challenged is what keeps our critical thinking and decision-making skills sharp, so lack of challenges may be considered as one of the biggest disadvantages of working from home as a nurse.
CON #14: You May Have Expenses Related to Running an Office from Home
Depending on the type of services you have at your home now, you may see an increase in some of your bills if you decide to work from home as a nurse. For instance, because you will be home more often, you will use more electricity and water. Also, you may need access to more expensive internet services to make sure you have good connectivity. Although the money you save commuting to work or eating out may balance out the expenses of working from home, it is still worth comparing the pros and cons of how your money will be affected.
CON #15: It Is Easy to Overwork Yourself
I love working from home, but I can tell you one of the cons of working at home as a nurse is it is easy to overwork yourself. I especially have this problem if I feel like I or my team has slacked a bit with the amount of content we create as nurse writers. However, it is important to keep in mind that employers value quality over quantity. So, although we need to work hard and give it our all, putting in extra time should not be at the expense of producing good work just to make numbers look good.
WHAT ARE THE TOP PROS OF WORKING FROM HOME AS A NURSE?
(The following are the top 15 pros of working from home as a nurse.)
PRO #1: There Are Endless Opportunities!
One of the top pros of working from home as a nurse is there are so many options! Depending on your degree and work experience, you could work as an adjunct nursing instructor teaching online classes, be a telehealth nurse, work with insurance companies, or become a freelance writer. All you need to do is think about what interests you and what you may enjoy doing in a work from home position, then look for jobs in that niche. With all the work from home nursing job opportunities
, you are sure to find something that aligns with your goals.
PRO #2: You Have Less Risk of Exposure to Illnesses and Diseases
Working in settings where you provide direct patient care always comes with the risk of exposure to illness or injuries. Working from home as a nurse eliminates the risk of those types of work health hazards. Reduced chances of becoming ill or injured in a clinical nursing setting is one of the main pros of working from home as a nurse.
PRO #3: You Can Earn an Excellent Income
Working from home does not mean you have to take a cut in pay. In fact, one of the biggest pros of working from home as a nurse is that you have the potential to earn an excellent income! As with any nursing job, the work from home nursing jobs pay different amounts. Still, I know many nurses who work from home who make $100,000 per year or more.
PRO #4: It Is Easier to Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Having a healthy work/life balance positively impacts your physical and mental well-being, which helps you perform better at your job. One of the things I love about work from home nursing jobs is that it is easier to work around family and other important things in your life. Work/life balance looks different to everyone. So, I recommend thinking about how much time you want to spend working and what other things are important to you and trying to create some equal balance.
PRO #5: You May Be Able to Choose Your Own Schedule
One of the biggest advantages of working from home as a nurse is that many work from home jobs allow you to choose when you want to work. If you are more of a night owl, you may be able to get your work done in late evening or night hours, or those who prefer to work during the day may set their schedules accordingly.
PRO #6: You Can Save Money
Another of the top pros of working from home as a nurse is you can save money. If you commute to work, you will have expenses such as fuel for your vehicle, possible parking fees, and the upkeep of your car. Also, most people who commute to work tend to eat out more often, which means more expenses at restaurants or fast-food places. When you work from home, you can prepare meals at home and save some of the money you would spend on traveling and other vehicle-related expenses.
PRO #7: You May Be Able to Work from Anywhere
Work from home nursing jobs may not necessarily mean you have to work at your home. Some jobs simply require a laptop and a good internet connection, and you can work from anywhere. A few years ago, I went on a cruise with my family. I took my laptop, and every morning, I got up early, sat on the balcony with a cup of coffee, and wrote an article before going off on our next excursion!
PRO #8: Some Work from Home Nursing Jobs Have Great Benefits
Just because you work from home, that does not mean you have to give up benefits like insurance or paid time off. Many work from home nursing jobs offer the same benefits as in-person nursing jobs. As you research different work from home options, talk to prospective employers to find out what benefits they offer. Some employers who do not offer benefits may offer higher wages so you can afford to purchase private or self-employment insurance.
PRO #9: Working from Home Is Often Less Stressful
One of the biggest pros of working from home as a nurse is the work environment is often less stressful. Although all jobs have times when some days are easier than others, working from home may relieve some of the stress associated with working in busy hospitals or offices or with several people.
PRO #10: You May Feel More Productive
When you work from home as a nurse, you can prioritize work and get things done in a time that works well for you. Many nurses who work from home say the freedom to schedule projects or other responsibilities on their own time makes them feel more productive. This is especially true if you become easily distracted when working with others, as work from home jobs are jobs you do alone.
PRO #11: You Will Have More Autonomy
For me, one of the biggest advantages of working from home as a nurse is the sense of independence it brings. Although I am accountable to the team I work for, we have developed a wonderful friendship and working relationship, which allows me the opportunity to have some independence in my role. Each work from home nursing job has its own guidelines, and employers have various requirements, but working from home in any position does afford the opportunity to have more autonomy.
PRO #12: You Can Still Develop Professional Networks
Working from home as a nurse does not mean you are cut off from professional peers or lack the opportunity to develop new professional relationships. There are many opportunities to meet other freelance or work from home nurses and build relationships that broaden your professional network. You can also work some prn shifts and meet professional peers. Many times, the people you meet in work-from-home circles can point you in the direction of new job opportunities.
PRO #13: You May Experience a Higher Degree of Job Satisfaction
One of the pros of working from home as a nurse is that you will have a higher sense of satisfaction with your job. Working from home gives you options like making your own schedule, creating a good work/life balance, and earning a great income, all of which lead to job satisfaction
PRO #14: You Will Develop Improved Technical Skills
Work from home nursing requires using technical skills, such as online meetings, team collaboration platforms, and interprofessional communication. Although you can learn these skills in a clinical nursing role, when you work from home as a nurse, you can sharpen and broaden those skills. You may also develop some technical skills that are not typically used in the clinical nurse setting.
PRO #15: You Can Collaborate with Peers Across Multiple Locations
Working from home does not mean you should lack interaction with or the ability to collaborate with professional peers. In fact, one of the pros of working from home as a nurse is that you can collaborate with peers across many locations. Working with peers from diverse areas creates opportunities for business development and allows you to learn from other professionals who have the same interests as you.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Although working from home occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic, today, more people than ever work from home. Nurses from all degree levels and work backgrounds have joined the ever-expanding network of work from home professionals. If you are a nurse considering leaving the clinical setting, you may wonder, "What are the pros and cons of working from home as a nurse?”
To answer that question, in this article, I shared the top 15 pros and cons of working from home as a nurse. By comparing the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed decision about whether working from home is something you should pursue.
Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).