A nurse case manager specializes in the coordination of long term care for patients. The goal of this type of nurse is to provide optimal, needed treatments to keep patients healthy and not in the hospital.
In case management nursing, you will usually work with specific types of patients. For example, you might work with people who have HIV/AIDS or cancer. Or, you may work with patients who are in a certain age group, such as pediatrics or geriatrics. You also may conduct extensive research of treatments and procedures.
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Other than managing these types of activities and treatments, you also may work more in a social work way, as you try to help patients and their families deal with financial matters related to health care. You may, for example, work in concert with insurance companies to help patients get the best, most cost effective care.
You also will coordinate care that your patients receive from healthcare providers, and manage care plans for chemotherapy, radiation, dialysis and much more.
You could work with people with many types of chronic conditions, such as:
Spinal cord injuries
Behavioral health problems
Muscle and skeletal problems
Where Nurse Case Managers Work
Nurse case managers work in both the public and private sector, and could work in:
Some nurse case managers work as independent consultants, and they may choose to work in a specific work environment or with a certain demographic. You also may work for an insurance company. In that role, you would work on worker’s compensation and disability coverage for patients. You also can combine your nurse case management work with regular nursing work.
Job Opportunities & Salary Outlook
The US Department of Labor has determined that the overall field of nursing will grow very rapidly by 2020 – with a 26% increase in nursing positions. The Department of Labor also finds that RNs generally earn a median salary of $64,700. Because of the additional training that nurse case managers have, we expect that most in this field would earn towards the higher end of the nursing wage scale, which is $95,000.
Indeed.com states that the average salary for nurse case managers is $68,000:
We expect that the demand for nurse case managers will continue to be very strong in the coming years. More former inpatient services are not being sent to outpatient centers, which means that there is a much higher demand for case management by nurses. The demand for effective nurse case managers also increased because of the problem of obesity in the US, and also the average age in the US is increasing.
Also, health care services are more fragmented in the US today, which requires more good management and coordination of services.