Case management nurses are registered nurses who develop, coordinate, implement, and assess long-term care plans for patients to help them be as healthy as possible. Patients often encountered by case management nurses include those with medical conditions that are chronic or complicated in nature and require ongoing medical care (i.e. cancer patients, HIV/AIDS or geriatrics). These nurses act as social workers, advocating for patient welfare, and playing the role of liaison between patients, their families, and healthcare providers. Case management nurses work closely alongside other medical professionals to design and implement long-term care plans which ensure patients receive the proper care that they need and deserve. Nurses who specialize in case management are often employed by hospitals, home health agencies, health insurance companies, and rehabilitation centers. A career in case management nursing can be especially rewarding in that nurses are able to develop deep and meaningful long-term relationships with their patients while they work with them through the course of their treatment.
Tasks and duties which are commonly carried out by case management nurses may include:
Common employing organizations who require the services of case management nurses include:
Becoming a case management nurse requires an accredited nursing education and license. An RN should then gain a couple years of clinical experience in order to familiarize themselves with how healthcare works in general, from a nursing perspective as well as the patient perspective (i.e. how health insurance works, etc.). Once this has been achieved, the nurse can become certified as a nursing case manager. Although not all employers require the certification, those who are certified will have a clear advantage over those who do not.
The vast majority of case management nurses have a BSN degree, which is required by most of the organizations who offer the case management nursing credential. Although some employers may only require applicants to have an ADN degree, individuals who have earned BSN degrees will certainly be more competitive in the job market. In all cases, case management nurses will need to have passed the NCLEX-RN exam and hold an active and unrestricted RN license. Individuals who hold a Master's of Science in Nursing will be well suited for a career in case management nursing.
Yes, case management nurses need to have an active and unrestricted RN license. Additionally, they should have a couple of years of clinical experience in the nursing sector in order to be eligible for certification.
There are a number of certification options that are available for individuals who would like to acquire a certification in case management nursing. Perhaps the most popular is the Nursing Case Management Certification that's offered by the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). Additionally, the Accredited Case Management Credential is offered by the American Case Management Association, while the Certified Case Manager Credential is offered by the Commission for Case Manager Certification. Lastly, the American Academy of Case Management offers a fellowship credential in case management nursing.
Eligibility requirements will vary from organization to organization. However, most will expect a candidate to have an active RN license, a couple years of clinical experience as a traditional RN, some continuing education credits, as well as some practical training in a case management nursing setting.
Positions as case management nurses are often seen as some of the most desirable and highly sought-after nursing positions in the nursing field. As budget cuts and managed care become more prominent within the healthcare field, the roles of case managers are expected to grow in scope.
According to PayScale.com, the average hourly rate for a case management nurse is approximately $33.27, whereas the average annual salary is approximately $70,506. However, yearly salaries typically range between $56,000 and $88,000. Factors that will play into how much a case management nurse makes include things like the geographical location of employment, amount of experience in the field, education levels, the employing organization, and the specific credentials they hold. In addition to their salaries, case management nurses who are employed full-time will generally receive a generous employee benefits package. This will, of course, vary from employer to employer.