A case management nurse oversees the long-term care of patients to keep them healthy and out of the hospital. Often, a case management nurse works with people who have conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS or diabetes or patients of certain age groups. Other specialties can include patients with mental health or substance abuse issues, hospice patients, accident victims, and victims of abuse and neglect.
Case management nurses help ensure patients receive the care they need. This involves creating individual care plans according to the person’s medical history, current condition and other factors. Nurses inform and support patients throughout their treatment and make them aware of different treatment options.
There can be complications to the responsibilities of case management nurses. They must keep the best interests of the patient in mind at all times, yet nurses need to be aware of any limits in the bureaucracy in which they work.
Case management nurses work alongside medical and community professionals, such as doctors and social workers, to provide a high level of patient care. Because they can specialize in almost any field of nursing, case management nurses work throughout the community to provide services for a specific population.
Employment of registered nurses (RNs) is projected to increase 16 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This figure is much faster than the projected growth rate for all occupations (7 percent).
The BLS notes that the aging population and an increase in the number of individuals with access to health insurance will increase the demand for RNs. More case management nurses may be needed to help oversee the education and care of older people and to care for increases in people who become insured.
“The financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible may result in more people being admitted to long-term care facilities and outpatient care centers, and greater need for healthcare at home,” the BLS says. This may increase the demand for case management nurses because hospitals rely on their help with cost-effectiveness and because they arrange care for patients at all types of facilities and at home.
The median annual wage for RNs is $67,490, according to the BLS. The highest 10 percent earn more than $101,630 and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $46,360.
Salary information is available for the top industries in which RNs work.
- RNs in government earn $72,100.
- RNs in hospitals earn $69,510.
- RNs in home healthcare services earn $63,840.
- RNs in offices of physicians earn $60,820.
- RNs in nursing and residential care facilities earn $60,370.
How to Become a Case Management Nurse
Employers require prospective case management nurses to have at least an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, along with some experience as a nurse. Because hospitals and other employers now often require all nurses to have a bachelor’s degree, case management nurses may need to pursue this credential. Another way nurses can improve opportunities in this field is through case management nurse certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Campbellsville University’s online RN to BSN degree prepares students for leadership roles and advancement in nursing. Graduates can pursue specializations such as case management nursing.