Case management nurses may work to ensure patients receive the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. They may seek to deliver efficient and cost-effective treatment to patients who often move between health care facilities. Although some work with all types of patients, they typically specialize in a certain population, such as children, families, or AIDS patients. They may work in community health organizations, long-term care facilities, rehab centers, and case management companies. Their main role is to organize and coordinate resources in order to meet the needs of specific patients. They strive to encourage patient self-managed care and ensure patients have access to services. Depending on the client and the setting, they may use many different types of case management models.
Case management nurses need to have well-developed communication skills, and the ability to observe accurately and make decisions accordingly. They need to be able to honor the wishes of their patients. They must be willing to work with a team, as well as supervise others. Due to the intense nature of the work, case management nurses should be emotionally stable and have a sympathetic disposition.
In 2002, case management nurses earned a median annual salary of $48,090. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10 percent, who earned less than $33,970, to the highest 10 percent, who earned more than $69,670.
Training and Education
Case management nurses can become Certified Case Managers (CCM) through the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC). They must also become registered nurses (RNs) by earning their nursing license. In order to obtain a nursing license, which is required by all 50 States and the District of Columbia, students must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing examination. Candidates have three different options for educational paths leading to certification as a registered nurse. The first option is obtaining a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN). BSN programs are offered through colleges and universities and take 4 years to complete,. The second option is an associate degree in nursing (ADN), offered through junior and community colleges, which takes 2 to 3 years to complete. The third option is a 3-year diploma program administered by hospitals. All three types of programs qualify students to be hired as a registered nurse, but BSNs provide graduates with the most opportunity for advancement within the nursing profession. In fact many nurses certified through ADN or diploma programs go on to enter bachelor’s programs. Employers of case management nurses prefer candidates to have earned a master’s of science in nursing (MSN). Click here to see a list of Nursing Schools, and/or to contact their admissions departments for more information.
In 2002, registered nurses, including case management nurses, held approximately 2.3 million jobs, making the occupation the largest in the healthcare field.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of case management nurses is expected to increase faster than the average. Case management nurses will be in high demand because the growing elderly population will need more and more assistance in managing their various chronic conditions. More new RN jobs are expected to be created than any other occupation, mostly because of the need to replace aging registered nurses as they leave the profession. Factors such as the growing elderly population, general growth of healthcare, rising median age of registered nurses, increased emphasis on preventative treatment, technological advances will keep registered nurses, including case management nurses, in high demand.