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Case Management Nursing

Nurses in the field of case management are responsible for providing care to patients who receive long-term treatment. Case management nurses also usually specialize in one area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or HIV/AIDS; and they work closely with patients, doctors, and other caregivers to coordinate care and manage costs. In many cases, the patients cared for by case management nurses have complex needs. They might see a variety of specialists or need frequent treatments or procedures. Case management nursing is a complex and multi-faceted field in which nurses are likely to have a long-term working relationship with patients or clients.

Job Description

In addition to handling the coordination of the needs of their patients, case management nurses are responsible for helping patients understand the current status of their health condition and the treatment options that are available. These nurses then work with other members within the medical team to ensure that the patients receive a complete and cohesive treatment plan. Other essential tasks that these nurses perform include communicating with the patient’s family in regards to their medical status and condition, coordinating and planning resources, and acting as an advocate for options that are individualized to meet a patient’s individual health needs. An example of a case management nurse’s responsibilities when applied to a cancer patient includes coordinating chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and primary care visits.

What is a Typical Case Management Nurse's Work Environment?

Case management nurses work in many different settings. According to Johnson & Johnson, it is common for these individuals to work in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and as independent consultants.

What Education and Certification is Necessary?

In order to become a case management nurse, one must first become a registered nurse. To do this, he or she must complete registered nursing program in order to earn a diploma, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. Then, the individual must pass the NCLEX-RN and apply for an RN license. After working the equivalent of 1 year or 2,000 hours in case management, one can take an exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in order to become a board certified case management registered nurse. This certification must be renewed every 5 years.

Those who choose to pursue case management nursing may also choose to earn an advanced degree, such as an MSN or DNP, to gain additional expertise on the patients they care for. These nurses may also become certified as advanced practice RNs.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to Indeed.com, the median salary for case management RNs is $68,000. This information is subject to change. The employment outlook for registered nurses is positive, and expected to increase 26% from 2010-2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The case management specialization is necessary to help with treatment for patients in need of long term or structured care, such as AIDS or cancer patients.

  • Case Management Society of America: This links you to the official website of the Case Management Society of America. This is the leading non-profit association that is dedicated to the development and support of the case management profession. This association also offers a number of educational programs in an effort to further the knowledge of the profession and provide members with career opportunities.
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center: This links to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which one of the subsidiaries of the American Nurses Association (ANA). This credentialing center is the most prestigious and largest credentialing organization for nurses in the world.
  • Commission for Case Manager Certification: This is the official site to the Commission for Case Manager Certification which is the world’s first and largest organization that is nationally accredited to certify case managers. This organization awards the CCM, which is the first case manager credential to become nationally accredited.
  • Case Management Program Overview: This links to American Sentinel University where there is an in-depth description of this educational program at the master’s level. It also shows information on the curriculum information and what to expect after enrolling in a program like this.
  • Registered Nurses: This is a link that directs you to the Occupational Outlook Handbook put together by the United States Department of Labor. This page describes career information about registered nurses as a whole. This information includes the nature of the work, training, employment and earnings records.
  • Certification Information: This link provides you with an extensive amount of information in regards to the certification for case management. This information includes the definition, eligibility, exam information and what to expect.
  • ANCC Nursing Case Management Certification: In-depth PDF document that discusses the background for this certification as well as the eligibility requirements, exam dates and associated fees.
  • Trauma Nurse Case Management: Information on the career as a case management nurse in the trauma sector of nursing.
  • American Board for Occupational Health Nurses: This site is the official site of the ABOHN, which provides you with a wealth of information that is focused on the health and safety of employees and workers’ compensation.