Telehealth, or providing healthcare using platforms like video calling or messaging, began gaining traction before 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic’s medical office closures and mobility restrictions sent demand for remote healthcare skyrocketing. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, utilization of telehealth services is now 38 times higher than pre-pandemic levels, with 13-17% of all outpatient office visits taking place virtually.
For nurses looking for a flexible position that allows them to work from home, the growth of telehealth represents an exciting opportunity. This guide explores telehealth nurse roles and salary expectations.
Average Salary for Telehealth Nurses
As with all nursing jobs, telehealth nurse salaries vary considerably by factors, such as the level of education and training, specialty, geographic location, and the specific employer. Nurses at all levels, including licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered nurses (RN), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), can work in telehealth.
Payscale data from July 2022 shows the average annual salary for a telehealth nurse at $62,930, or $31.30 per hour.
Average Annual Salary
Source: Payscale, July 2022
Average Hourly Wage
Source: Payscale, July 2022
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The Highest-Paying States for Telehealth Nurses
Nurses working in California, Hawaii, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and Alaska earn the highest wages in the U.S, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nurses in northeast states, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, are also among the highest paid. Although the BLS does not include specific data for telehealth nurses, the earnings for this role are equivalent to staff nurses.
Nurses licensed in any of the 39 Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states can provide telehealth in other compact states without needing an additional license. In states not part of the NLC, telehealth nurses may practice only in that state. There may be exceptions to this rule, since most states temporarily modified telehealth licensing requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 Ways to Increase Pay As a Telehealth Nurse
Currently, there is no certification option specifically for telehealth nursing, but certification from the American Ambulatory Care Nursing Association (AMB-BC) demonstrates competency in providing care in ambulatory settings, including at home. The certification also covers telehealth concepts. RNs with at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice and 30 hours of related continuing education can take the exam, which awards board certification in ambulatory care.
Earning the AMB-BC credential indicates necessary skills and knowledge in the ambulatory care specialty, which can increase a telehealth nurse’s salary.
Furthering your education to transition from an LPN to an RN or an RN to an APRN can open doors to higher-paying job opportunities. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for an RN is about $77,600 and APRNs earn a median $120,680. RNs with a bachelor’s degree may choose to further their education through a direct-entry master’s program or an RN-to-MSN bridge program. LPNs can complete an LPN-to-RN bridge program to earn their RN license, increasing their earning potential and eligibility for employment.
According to the McKinsey & Company report, telehealth services are particularly in demand for certain specialties. Their research indicates psychiatry, substance abuse treatment, endocrinology, and rheumatology make up the majority of telehealth visits. Specializing in an in-demand area can increase job opportunities and earning potential.
Frequently Asked Questions About Telehealth Nurse Salaries
Do telehealth nurses work from home?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many telehealth nurses now work from home. Other telehealth nurses work in hospitals, physician offices, and clinics. Most visits take place through video conferencing, but telehealth nurses also care for patients over the phone or by using the chat function on a website or app.
What do telehealth nurses do?
Telehealth nurses perform many tasks, including triage, patient education, and collecting information about a patient’s condition. They also evaluate data from remote monitoring tools, such as sensors or applications. They do not diagnose or treat illness or medical conditions unless they are nurse practitioners.
Are telehealth nurses in demand?
As more people choose telehealth for routine care, minor health issues, and mental health services, the demand for qualified nurses continues to rise.
What skills are necessary for telehealth nurses?
Many employers require bedside nursing experience to ensure telehealth nurses have the observation and communication skills necessary to provide virtual healthcare. Other critical skills include communication and comfort working with technology.