What Does a Case Management Nurse Do?
A case management nurse is responsible for providing and coordinating the long term care of patients. They aim to provide the proper treatments at the optimal times to maintain their patient’s health and minimize the opportunity for hospitalization. Their duties can include coordinating primary care visits, surgery and other specialized treatments. They also assess and monitor their patients, determine their eligibility for treatments or procedures, and make use of all clinical pathways to achieve their desired outcomes. Case management nurses generally work with a specific group of patients and conditions, like AIDS/HIV, cancer, geriatrics and pediatrics. For example, a case management nurse might work with a cancer patient a be responsible for coordinating their chemo treatments and visits to primary and specialty physicians. CMNs also do research on various available procedures, analyze data and work with insurance companies. Their ultimate goal is to provide their patients with the best possible care in a cost-effective manner.
How Can I Become a Case Management Nurse?
Case management nurses are registerd nurses that have earned a degree in nursing and possess an active registered nurse license. To become a registered nurse, one must complete a two or four year nursing degree from an approved college or university. Following graduation, a nurse must then successfully pass their state mandated licensing exam. Registered nurses are then required to work for two years as a nurse, earn up to 2,000 hours of clinical practice as a case management nurse and earn 30 hours of continued education in case management nursing. After all of the requirements have been satisfied, the nurse is then eligible to sit for the case management nursing certification exam. This exam is administered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Aside from credentialing, case management nurses must be excellent communicators, as they will be dealing with long term care patients and family members. they should also possess time management skills, leadership skills and a desire to learn.
What Is the Career and Salary Outlook for a Case Management Nurse?
The employment outlook for case management nurses is extremely positive. This can be contributed to the influx of aging baby boomers into the health care system. As these older Americans are aging and needing more health care procedures and treatments, there is a growing need for health care providers to care for them. Case management nurses typically earn between $55,000 – $75,000 per year, with the amount varying depending on location and experience level. One of the most challenging aspects of being a case management nurse, is dealing with patients with limited insurance and limited access to health care. Conversely, one of the benefits of being a CMN is the ability to build lasting relationships with patients. Many nurses only see patients a few times before they are discharged or removed to another health care facility. Case management nurses get to know their patients, their needs and have a vested interest in their health. Another benefit of being a case management nurse is the ability to choose your work environment, whether as an independent consultant or with a health care organization, like a hospital, rehabilitation clinic or even private corporation.