One LPN Tells All About Her Remote Nursing Job

LPNs and LVNs: This one’s for you!

Have you been grappling with your remote nursing job search, wondering: Is every job going to pass me up because I’m not an RN? 

Absolutely not. LPNs and LVNs are valuable and necessary beyond the bedside, too.

Here’s the story of how one LPN got her start in the remote nursing world.

What is your nursing background?

After graduating with her LPN, California nurse went straight into a skilled nursing facility. While working there, she saw a job posting to be a minimum data set (MDS) nurse. She applied for the MDS job and worked there for a year and a half. 

MDS nurses monitor and assess data and documentation on residents of long-term care facilities. Documentation includes:

  • Information on patient function
  • Interdisciplinary team assessments, like speech-language pathology
  • Specific quality measures, like data on pressure ulcer occurrence

According to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “MDS assessments are required for residents on admission to the nursing facility, periodically, and on discharge.  All assessments are completed within specific guidelines and time frames.”

How did you get into a remote nursing job?

California nurse had some friends working in a medical group who persuaded her to apply to an outpatient case management position. Because her friends worked at the company, she attended a walk-in interview event. It took about two months between the initial interview and receiving the official offer. 

California nurse’s strategy was pursuing a role that could be done remotely, but doing it in person. This made for a simple transition when switching to a remote nursing job. For example, if you work for a hospital now, it might be easier to apply to do on-site case management for that hospital, and then later work for a company that does remote case management. 

“In case management I only worked for the office for a year. Then they allowed us to go hybrid. We did have to go to the office once a week.” Now, she works fully remote.

What is case management?

Case management nurses follow up with members of health or benefit plans. The idea behind case management is to:

  1. Provide a benefit to members. Case managers offer their services in answering member questions, helping them make appointments, following up after hospital or long-term stays, and connecting them to other specialties.
  1. Provide a benefit to the health plan. The intention behind a proper case management program is to prevent unnecessary healthcare costs that result from poor follow-up care or avoidable readmissions. Health plans save money by preventing this overutilization.

“It was calling patients who had come home from the hospital, making sure they had everything they needed. Their appointments, their authorizations, and that they understood their medications and treatment plan,” she explains. California nurse has done case management for a total of seven years. 

What is a day in the life of your job?

California nurse’s current role is as a delegation oversight nurse, which entails doing quality assurance auditing for case management. 

This type of auditing involves scrutinizing outpatient care management cases. “It’s like the work I used to do before, but now I’m on the other side,” she shares. She performs about one audit per day, and the audits are usually scheduled a few months in advance. “Audits are completed monthly and annually for each Independent Physician Association (IPA) or medical group. I have three IPAs assigned to me at this time,” she explains.

What she looks for during an audit includes:

  • Timely member outreach
  • Care plans in place
  • Member letters are sent out if the case manager is unable to reach them
  • Complete and accurate documentation

What are the salary and benefits like?

California nurse explains that her first job was for a private for-profit company, and she started at $30-35 per hour. Later, she took a pay cut to work for a nonprofit health plan and was paid $25-30 per hour. Now, she is paid $35-40 per hour. 

The remote nursing role is Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, 8 am to 5 pm with a one-hour lunch break. 

They accrue about two days of PTO per month, and the company offers a nice annual wellness bonus for them to pursue fitness classes, annual passes to local activities, or participate in other wellness activities. 

How flexible is your job?

California nurse shares that she does get downtime during her job. She has to complete her reports, but then she can take breaks as needed. “My manager doesn’t micromanage as long as our job is done.” 

How do RNs and LPNs interact in your role?

Her team is mostly LPNs. “It’s been a struggle for management to hire RNs because a lot of them have a hard time transitioning from bedside to just sitting in an office. So there’s a lot of LPNs in this line of work.”

California nurse explains that for case audits, RNs and LPNs do the same thing. With case management, LPNs/LVNS do need RNs to cosign some of their care plans. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

“My favorite part is I get to stay home!” She adds that even though she doesn’t interact with patients or members anymore, she still gets to provide quality care, because that’s the goal of the auditing she does. 

What is your least favorite part of your job?

Her least favorite part of the job is a task called file selections. Basically, selecting eligible members for monthly review due to different categories depending on their health plan coverage.

What do you do outside of work?

Outside of work, California nurse enjoys spending time with her family, creating things, and doing pilates. Thanks to the generous wellness bonus provided by her job, she gets reimbursed for the pilates classes. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t let being an LPN or LVN prevent you from pursuing a remote nursing job and building your dream career. California nurse says, “Don’t be scared. Don’t be intimidated. It won’t hurt to try.” It worked for her, it can work for you, too. 
Check out the Nurse Fern resources for all the help you need to get started with your remote nursing job search.