Locum tenens telehealth assignments: How they work for NPs

April 15th, 2024 6 Min read Locum tenens telehealth assignments: How they work for NPs Blog

Sophia Khawly, ARNP, MSN, shares her experiences working in telehealth as an NP and why she enjoys it.

Telehealth has become very popular since the pandemic, as it allows patients to be seen by healthcare providers without leaving the comfort of their homes. Telehealth companies have used nurse practitioners at the forefront of this service due to the low cost of NPs and their high level of adaptability. NPs can work full-time in telehealth or as an adjunct to their full-time jobs. However, depending on the company, there may be minimum hour requirements per week. Here's my experience working telehealth as an NP.

How locum tenens prepared me for telehealth work

Being a locum tenens nurse practitioner has allowed me to transition easily to telehealth part-time. Since I have acquired 12 state licenses throughout my time practicing in locum tenens, this made me an ideal candidate for telehealth. Most telehealth companies seek NPs with at least five state licenses. NPs must be licensed in the state that the patient is currently in during the time of the visit.

Quote from author about how locum tenens prepared her well for working telehealth assignments

I have had experience working with several telehealth companies. They each provided malpractice insurance. Some offered a supervising physician for states requiring it, while others did not. Most companies do not reimburse for state license fees or assist in getting new licenses unless you work with them full-time. As a full-time employee, they offer benefits such as paid time off and health insurance. Part-time or per diem workers are paid as 1099 contractors and do not receive any benefits.

I prefer working for a telehealth company that does not have a minimum weekly hour requirement. I work closer to per diem hours. Some weeks, I do not work telehealth at all, while other weeks, I may work 20 hours. This is in addition to my full-time job or between locum tenens assignments.

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Telehealth for NPs and payment

Telehealth has a mixture of synchronous (sync) and asynchronous (async) visits. Synchronous visits are when patients are seen via video or phone calls. Asynchronous visits are done through messaging and are not time-dependent. The majority of telehealth enterprises pay the NP per visit completed. Sync visits typically pay more than async visits because they take more time. Depending on the platform, each sync visit may pay $20-35 per visit, whereas async visits may pay $5-15 per visit. Some telehealth entities may pay the NP a strict hourly pay rate instead of per visit, but most pay for productivity.

This is why it is lucrative for an NP to work with a telehealth company that uses different platforms and has a plethora of patients. One telehealth company will work with multiple platforms. Platforms are specific brands that need to offer telehealth services. Popular platforms include Hims and Hers, Goodrx, Amazon, and various weight loss programs.

An NP working in telehealth must be comfortable navigating multiple platforms. Sometimes, I may be completing async visits regarding hair loss, while other times, I may be completing sync urgent care visits for sinus infections.

Why I like working telehealth as an NP

Personally, I really enjoy working in telehealth. The visits are straightforward, and there are guidelines we have to follow. It can be a nice break from the complexity of patients seen in clinics. The documentation is less than in-person practices. It is also rewarding because the patients are so thankful that you were able to treat their simple problems, such as a UTI or rash, without having to spend long wait times at urgent care. I really enjoy the access to care that telehealth affords patients.

The pay is also good, especially if you have multiple state licenses that give you more access to patients. I like the flexibility of working in telehealth. I can work a few hours when available or avoid it for a few weeks if I am preoccupied with other things. I love being able to work remotely. It allows for further flexibility by being able to read a book or do house chores in between seeing patients. I can even travel to other places and have the opportunity to work when away from home.

List of reasons why the author enjoys working telehealth as an NP

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Challenges to working telehealth as an NP

There are a few disadvantages of working in telehealth. NPs should make sure that the onboarding training is thorough. If there is inconsistent work, such as not enough patients to be seen, and the telehealth company is not paying hourly, the NP should consider transitioning to another telehealth practice. There are some limitations in seeing patients synchronously or asynchronously, so NPs should be confident in their skills and refer out when necessary.

CompHealth can help you find the perfect nurse practitioner job. Give us a call at 800.453.3030 or view today’s NP job opportunities.


Sophia Khawly, ARNP, MSN

Sophia Khawly has been a locum tenens nurse practitioner for more than six years. She has worked in nine different states and about 20 different practices. This Miami native likes to travel in her spare time as well, and has visited over 40 countries. Being a locum tenens nurse practitioner allows her to combine her love of learning, travel, and serving others. Learn more about Sophia at www.travelingNP.com.

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