What Is Telehealth Nursing?

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What is telehealth nursing? Telehealth nursing involves providing remote care to patients who may face transportation obstacles, time constraints, mobility issues, and more. They can also offer remote care for facilities and schools that can’t staff an in-house nurse. Telehealth nursing offers accessible, high-quality care typically via a video chat.

nurse sitting at desk with headset

What is telehealth nursing, and why is it important? Picture scheduling a typical doctor’s visit: you may have to request time off from work to attend the appointment. Then you’ll drive to the doctor’s office, check in, and wait in a waiting room. Your name will be called, and you will walk to an exam room, where you’ll likely wait a while longer before being seen.

If you’re sick or hurt, this process involves considerable effort compared with picking up your phone or opening your computer to video chat with a doctor. That’s where telehealth nursing comes in.

One benefit of telehealth nursing as a career is that it allows you to provide care to people with chronic diseases, those with limited mobility, those without reliable transportation, and those who are otherwise unable to receive in-person care.

If becoming a telehealth nurse sounds like a good fit for you, the Xavier University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program prepares you for a career in telehealth nursing by enabling you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in as few as 16 months.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what a career as a telehealth nurse looks like and how to become a telehealth nurse. We’ll also describe the career outlook of the profession.

What Does a Day in Telehealth Nursing Look Like?

Telehealth nursing bridges the gap to accessible care and allows patients to speak with their healthcare professionals directly from the comfort of their homes or workplaces, saving them time. Telehealth nurses assess patients from a location of the patient’s choosing. This approach can be a major benefit to people who reside in rural locations and cannot easily travel to a clinic, people with highly contagious infections, or people who are immune compromised and want to limit their time around others.

Telehealth nurses can also help fulfill unique needs and address shortages. For example, telehealth nurses can provide care in schools that cannot staff an on-campus school nurse. They can also help hospitals avoid overcrowded emergency rooms and long waiting times by seeing non-emergent patients remotely.

Telehealth nurses conduct patient interviews, monitor vital signs, and instruct patients on how to treat small wounds, such as burns or scratches. Telehealth nurses may also evaluate illnesses, such as rashes or allergic responses, and inform patients on a treatment plan.

nurse sitting at desk with computer and headset

Employment Outlook for Telehealth Nursing

The demand for telehealth nursing significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was a desperate need for care without close contact. Telehealth visits increased by 50% in March 2020.

Since then, the employment outlook for telehealth nurses has continued to be positive. There is little hard data regarding how the profession may grow since the need for telehealth nurses is relativity new; however, a report from McKinsey & Company revealed that utilization of telehealth services is 38 times higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. The report stated that 13–17% of all outpatient appointments were held virtually.

Requirements for a Career in Telehealth Nursing

The Xavier ABSN program prepares you to graduate ready to confidently sit the NCLEX and become a registered nurse. Only after earning your BSN and passing the NCLEX can you start working as an RN and gain the experience you’ll need to transition into a career in telehealth nursing.

1. Earn Your BSN in as Few as 16 Months

Through a comprehensive curriculum that combines online learning with in-person labs and clinicals, Xavier University can help you earn your BSN in as few as 16 months. You’ll gain a robust understanding of nursing theory and the hands-on nursing skills you need to confidently treat patients. A BSN from Xavier University is the first step toward a lucrative career as a telehealth nurse.

2. Work as a Registered Nurse

You never know what your day will look like as a telehealth nurse—or what conditions you may have to treat. Getting a few years working as an RN in a traditional bedside nursing setting is important before embarking on a position as a telehealth nurse. This experience will be instrumental for telehealth nursing.

3. Meet Licensure Requirements

As a telehealth nurse, it’s possible you may practice in several states. Rather than obtaining multiple state licenses, the Nurse Licensure Compact may be a great option to meet this requirement as it empowers registered nurses to practice in all compact member states.

4. Meet Competency Standards

As a telehealth nurse, you’ll need to abide by the American Nursing Association standards for safety. Ambulatory care is a large aspect of telehealth nursing since the role requires you to treat patients in outpatient settings. Thus, you’ll need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to provide ambulatory care. You can become certified through the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses and the American Nurses Association. This certification may not be required depending on where you accept a position; however, it can boost your resume and help you advance your career.

Xavier ABSN student working with sim manikin

Not sure where to start with the path to nursing? Follow these 7 steps to become an RN.

How to Find a Job in Telehealth Nursing

When you’ve met the requirements needed for telehealth nursing, your next step will be to start your career in the field. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Stay Up to Date with Technology

Because this career depends heavily on technology to make high-quality patient care accessible, you’ll need to be comfortable with technology. You’ll also need to be able to troubleshoot connectivity issues or other problems that might occur.

Nurses should feel at ease using various platforms to engage with patients through telehealth, including video calls and internet chats. Communication is essential in this situation; as a telemedicine nurse, you will need to convey care and treatment plans using direct and understandable instructions.

Be Open to Alternate Settings and Applications

Telehealth nursing can be done anywhere. Some typical settings include:

  • Patient’s homes
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Prisons
  • Clinics and pharmacies
  • Hospitals
xavier absn student smiling with hands crossed

Telehealth nursing can be conducted anywhere the proper technology is available, so don’t limit yourself when approaching this career. Be sure to research each setting and find one that is a good fit for you.

Change Lives in as Few as 16 Months

Ready to put your dream of becoming a registered nurse into action? The Xavier ABSN program can help you leverage your previous education and develop a rewarding career in nursing. To see if Xavier University is right for you, contact us today.

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