Case Management Nurse: In-Demand Specialty for Travel Nursing Jobs
Case management nurses are patient advocates who make sure their patients have long-term care plans in place. They ensure patients have the appropriate resources and that those essentials are delivered in a cost-effective, comprehensive way.
Case management nurses treat patients across all populations. They are frequently found working with geriatric patients, pediatric patients, those diagnosed with chronic conditions such as HIV or with mental health patients. Their collaborative and planning skills are needed throughout the continuum of patient care. This model represents a significant improvement over episodic care, offering better outcomes in a cost-effective, supportive way.
As healthcare continues to evolve, the need for case management nurses will grow. There is already a national nurse shortage affecting every nursing specialty area, but the growing emphasis on care that anticipates and meets patients’ specific medical, emotional, and social needs means this area of practice will be in particularly high demand.
What is a Case Management Nurse?
Case management nurses assess patient needs and coordinate the the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of overall care.
Nurse case manager’s goals frequently center on patient self-determination. They take a collaborative approach focusing on the continuum of each patient’s needs, coordinating and transitioning care and optimizing communication and financial and medical resources in a way that enlists patients, family members and the care team to ensure safety, compliance and improved outcomes.
Nurse case managers require competencies in many areas, including:
- Assessment, planning, and implementation of process to meet patients’ medical, emotional and social needs
- Ability to collaborate and coordinate communication with members of the care team to maximize outcomes, quality of care and cost-effectiveness
- Proactive anticipation and identification of problems and needs in order to minimize fragmentation and delivery of care
- Monitoring and evaluation of patient progress to ensure goals are being met
- Educating patients, family members and other stakeholders regarding treatment, resources, insurance benefits and concerns
- Empowering the patient to act as their own problem solver and advocate
- Securing material resources needed for patient care
- Encouraging compliance in accessing resources
- Assisting in and coordinating transitions from one level of care to the next
Case management nurses work in a variety of settings where long-term care plans are needed. These include hospitals, clinics, insurance companies and private practices. They are frequently employed by long-term care facilities, as well as by home health and hospice care agencies.
Case Management Nurse Education Requirements, Certifications and Professional Groups
Though the job requires a talent for coordination, it also requires strong nursing skills and an educational background in discharge planning, utilization reviews and computer skills. Most nurse case managers earn their Registered Nurse license through either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). After passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam, they then pursue professional nursing experience to help them develop clinical skills, as well as interpersonal and communication skills.
Those who wish to become nurse case managers work to familiarize themselves with the intricacies of case management, and often seek credentialing such as the Nursing Case Management Certification offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center; the Certified Case Manager credential offered by the Commission for Case Manager Certification; or the Accredited Case Management Credential offered by the American Case Management Association.
The same organizations that facilitate these certifications and credentials also offer nurse case managers opportunities for networking, continuing education and the ability to work together with colleagues to make significant improvements in the delivery of healthcare.
Nurse Case Manager Salary and Job Growth Potential
Nurse case managers dramatically improve patient outcomes, experiences and quality of care. But that’s hardly all. Their interventions also result in their facilities improving core competencies, enhancing claims management and reducing readmission risks. This value to their organizations continues to be recognized, and as a result they command generous salaries.
The average national salary for a nurse case manager is $70,598 per year.
According to Indeed.com, the average national salary for a nurse case manager is $70,598 per year, with variables based on years and type of experience, job setting, and level of education.
There are significant differences in the salaries offered in different areas of the country. Nurse case managers are also eligible for overtime pay that can boost their income by an average of $11,925 per year.
Nurse case managers have the significant advantage of largely working weekdays only, with most shifts scheduled for daytime hours. Their salaries are also often supplemented by benefits including medical, dental, and vision coverage, vacation and sick time and continuing education support.
Top Paying Cities for Case Management Nurses in 2021
Nurse case management positions are available in locations ranging from major metropolitan areas to rural areas experiencing a significant shortage of medical professionals. The care they provide makes a real difference in the communities they serve, and their knowhow and organizational skills make them well-suited to the flexibility of travel nurse management positions.
According to Indeed.com, here are the best paying cities for case management nurses in 2021:
- Las Vegas, NV: $81,103 per year
- Dallas, TX: $76,983 per year
- Phoenix, AZ: $73,423 per year
- Atlanta, GA: $73,343 per year
- Denver, CO: $72,561 per year
The Pros and Cons of Being a Nurse Case Manager
Pros of Case Management Nursing
- Satisfaction of working as part of a collaborative team to improve patient outcomes
- Ability to work directly with patients and establish long-term relationships with them and their familie
- Traditional work hours, with on-call and weekend shifts uncommon
Cons of Case Management Nursing
- Conflicts with management regarding access to or utilization of tools and resources
- Occasional disagreements with members of the care team or lack of cooperation from outside agencies such as insurance companies
- Large, complex caseloads
Nursing as a Travel Nurse Case Manager
Hospitals and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies and healthcare agencies around the country are working to reduce readmissions, provide patients with long-term and transitional plans promoting self-care and independence, and reduce costs.
The national shortage of registered nurses with case management experience increasingly has facilities turning to travel nurse case managers to fill their needs.
Being a travel nurse case manager allows you to choose your location and work setting and offers the opportunity to rotate through diverse types of patient populations to increase your understanding of their needs. It also exposes you to adventure, the joy of meeting new colleagues and friends, and endless growth opportunities.
Travel nursing offers generous financial incentives, including bonuses, travel and housing allowances and competitive compensation, all while enriching and improving the lives of patients.