Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing industries in the United States. As the population ages and demand for healthcare services grows, the demand for healthcare professionals is also growing. However, for the general population, healthcare can still be an overwhelming field to navigate. Between health insurance, specialists, and information that can be found online, many people find that they need help working through the healthcare process. This is where case managers come in. What is a case manager? In short, case managers help patients and healthcare providers plan and coordinate patient care. While this certainly does describe case managers, there is so much more to know of RN case managers in 2018! Between the educational requirements, job responsibilities, and career outlook, there is still a lot to discuss about case management.
What is a Case Manager?
First and foremost, RN case managers must fulfill all of the requirements to become a licensed RN. This means completing a 2-year associate’s or 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing followed by successfully passing the NCLEX-RN certification exam. While it is possible to become a nurse case manager with only an associate’s degree, it is much more common for case managers to hold a bachelor’s degree.
If you are interested in case management, it is usually best to pursue a bachelor’s degree over an associates degree. After becoming an RN, many nurse case managers even go on to complete their master’s degree of science in nursing. Although this is not required, it is a common way for nurse case manager’s to stand out in a pool of applicants. Finally, RN case managers often attain specific certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). There are alternative certifications that you can pursue, however, the ANCC certification is among the most common for RN case managers.
After completing all of the educational requirements to become a case manager, you are probably wondering what these nurses do. After all, it is impossible to ask the question “what is a case manager?” without fully addressing their job responsibilities. As mentioned above, RN case managers’ primary concern is the coordination of care for their patients. Nurse case managers’ 5 primary job responsibilities are to organize and plan patient care, make big decisions on behalf of the patient, facilitate communication, compile data, and provide advocacy reports. Essentially, nurse case managers spend their days ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks in regards to patient care. It is important to help patients both access and find ways to afford the care that they need. This can be for either a short-term or long-term basis. Ultimately, this just depends on the needs of the patient and the healthcare facility.
Of course, healthcare as an industry is growing rapidly. However, this is especially true of case management. As more people need healthcare services, there is greater demand for nurses to manage their care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RN case management will grow 26% by 2020. This is well above the expected national average job growth. Additionally, the median annual salary for RN case managers is $64,000. This said salary is largely dependent upon experience and education. RN case managers with their MSN and certification is case management are much more likely to earn more than this than other RN case managers.
What is a case manager? Ultimately, case managers are an integral member of the healthcare team. For patients with limited exposure to healthcare, they can be very helpful in coordinating and figuring out how to pay for care. So, are you interested in case management? Explore some of the awesome case manager travel nurse jobs available!