What's good at-home work for a retired nurse seeking extra income?
June 8, 2012 4:49 PM   Subscribe

My mom has been a nurse for 43 years and is about to retire. She'd like to pick up some extra income at home. Is anyone aware of at-home work that would use her extensive nursing knowledge?

She doesn't have the vision to sit at a computer for hours, and doesn't have strong computer skills. She is not very entrepreneurial. She IS highly intelligent, reliable, take-charge, and a skilled nurse with a lifetime of experience including home health care and training/instruction, and has worked with children, seniors, mentally ill/senile people and the developmentally disabled.

Any ideas for her to work from home?
posted by Jennifer S. to Work & Money (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Nurse-on-call for a health insurance company? I don't know if they actually need to be in an office. I imagine they can take the calls at home just fine.
posted by phunniemee at 4:51 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How about a "nurse hotline", also called phone triage, type thing? I just googled to see if they're work from home, and looks like at least some of them are (like this one).
posted by brainmouse at 4:52 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

She might be able to do chart reviews for a regulatory agency or a insurance company, although that might involve some computer time.

Advice nurse for a call-in Ask-a-Nurse line (on preview,looks like I've had the same idea as some others).
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:55 PM on June 8, 2012

My mother-in-law works for an insurance company. In the most basic terms, she makes sure that the insurance company is not being overcharged. In some cases, she might negotiate some lower-cost options, such as visits from a home health care nurse instead of an extended hospital stay. She does not have to see the patients -- she is able to pull up the records at home and make the appropriate recommendations.
posted by Ostara at 5:04 PM on June 8, 2012

Could she explore getting involved with legal medical record review for pending medical malpractice? I'm not entirely sure what the formal qualification requirements are, but having extensive experience in the field at the bedside is important.
posted by Asherah at 6:31 PM on June 8, 2012

Any chance she is bilingual? She could be a hospital interpreter who works from home over the phone. Her nursing experience would be incredibly valuable!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:39 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

How's her typing speed? Could she do medical transcription work? I'm not sure it there's still a market, but I would imagine that her extensive nursing experience would give her a leg up on all the medical terms.
posted by kaybdc at 8:27 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be at home for a mobility/driving issue? I know about a dozen older nurses who have wound up working for crafters/artisans as sales. Because nurses can connect in a commonsense manner with anyone, no matter how lowbrow or highbrow.

Where is she located?
posted by desuetude at 8:32 PM on June 8, 2012

Just to follow up on kaybdc's suggestion: there is definitely a market for medical transcription. I have a friend who's a stay-at-home-mom who brings in a pretty decent second income for her family doing medical transcription from her home.

If you or your mom are interested, MeMail me and I can pump her for details about the agency she works through.
posted by trip and a half at 9:48 PM on June 8, 2012

Don't know where you are but some places (here in Victoria Australia) has a (well probably had given the way this government is cutting) have a nurse on call service where people ring a toll-free to get nursely advice. Saves them taking their kids to the hospital emergency when the kid has a high temperature. That sort of thing might suit.
posted by the noob at 11:51 PM on June 8, 2012

Would babysitting in the neighborhood count as working from home? Or dog walking? There might be a dog walking company who would hire you to assist only in your area. Or maybe tutoring people for nursing exams?

If strictly at home and not on the computer, I'm thinking telephone. These may be hard to track down, but I think there are a certain number of jobs that involve booking freelance workers. A guy once tried to hire me to basically call a pool of workers every day and line up the ones he needed for trade shows, cooking demos etc. The problem with this job was that you literally got paid by the number of bookings every day and you would have to work whenever work came in.

A friend of mine who was a nurse and didn't want to work in a hospital any more got a job with an academic doctor, following up patients in a study. Maybe she could contact a teaching hospital and see if there is work like that to be done by phone.
posted by BibiRose at 5:37 AM on June 9, 2012

Just a note about medical transcription - my friend did it from home for several years (first for a specific hospital system then for an agency). In both cases she had to purchase her own supplies, including the necessary reference books, fax machine, specialized software, transcription equipment, etc. I remember the books alone ran her about $500. And MTs get paid per line, not per hour, so fast/accurate typing is a definite plus.

Have your mom check out some of the online nursing communities; the message boards have many suggestions as to part-time work for retirees, from working as a substitute school nurse to giving seminars to hospital staff to advising law firms in medical malpractice cases.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:22 AM on June 9, 2012

Try to be a blogger of writing health articles. I know many company would like to pay for that.
posted by asye288 at 7:10 AM on June 15, 2012

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