RN Case Management
Case management RNs are specialized types of nurses that create and manage patient care plans, advocate for and educate patients, navigate insurance and benefits, and so much more. There’s a growing demand for case management nurses and other healthcare professionals to work in this area. This consistent and ever-growing need means there are many high-paying travel nursing, travel CNA, and travel social work jobs in case management throughout the nation! If you’re a case management RN or work in another role related to case management, keep reading to learn more and explore nationwide job opportunities that just might be your perfect fit.
Is Case Management a good Career?
A career in case management travel nursing can help you avoid nurse burnout while still sharing your well-honed skills and much-appreciated talent with facilities nationwide where your specialty is most needed. Your work will remain highly demanding, but with various, new locations and facilities to choose from, travel nursing is a fantastic way to stay fresh, motivated, and centered on providing great patient care. Working as a traveler is also a wonderful way to continue to sharpen your clinical skills, gain more experience, and build your resume, while you explore the country and all the many professional and personal opportunities available to you!
What Does a Case Management RN Do?
Case management RNs play a huge part in the delivery of holistic patient care, with each patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and even financial health in mind. This role is a little different than most nursing specialties as it’s typically less acute and longer term, less specific and more overall. Case management nurses work with populations that for one reason or another (age, chronic illness/disease, severe injury/surgery, etc.) need a long-term care plan and an advocate on their healthcare journey. Case management nurses custom-create, enforce, and monitor each patient’s care plan, and may even schedule appointments and procedures. They educate patients and families, even counseling them on healthcare decisions when needed, and advocate for them with physicians, other nurses, insurers, healthcare systems, families, and other entities. They’re responsible for making sure all necessary care is provided and all care supplied is cost-effective.
As a case management nurse, you may work in a variety of settings including acute hospitals/facilities, long-term care facilities, rehabs, hospice centers, schools, community centers, businesses (like insurers themselves), government agencies, in home health, and many other locations — some of these clinicians even work remotely. While most case managers may work across a spectrum of patients/patient needs, some will specialize in a specific area based on age, disease/illness, type of facility/service, and other such classifications.
To succeed working as a case management RN, you should be caring, empathetic, patient, strategic, organized, good at distilling down complex ideas/situations, great with technology, good at establishing boundaries, and an excellent communicator and team player.
A case management RN’s ultimate goal is to establish the best possible care plan, follow up with that care plan, empower and advocate for each patient, help navigate insurance benefits and red tape, and work toward the best possible patient outcome. Unlike many nurse specialties, where the hope is to treat, heal, and move to another unit or discharge, case management nurses are often simply working toward “best possible condition” rather than “all better.”
Who Works with Case Management RNs?
Like most units and specialties in healthcare, case management nurses work with a multidisciplinary team of fellow healthcare and administrative professionals. They are most likely to work with RNs in the specialty area in which their patients are being treated. For example, if a case management RN is serving a patient in the pediatric unit, they are very likely to partner with the pediatric unit RN(s) who are also serving that patient. This trend continues across other specialties/units. Outside of that, case management nurses may often work and interact with other case management RNs, CNAs, social workers, physicians, charge/clinical coordinators, surgeons, therapists, dieticians, clinical pharmacists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, and administrative staff.
How is a Case Management RN Different from a Utilization Review RN?
Any differences between these two titles are often more influenced by a person’s specific job and/or facility than the titles themselves. They are essentially synonymous. Both case management nurses and utilization review (UR) nurses are experts at overall care plans and all that comes with that — including navigating insurance coverage. While UR RNs often tend to be thought of as operating more in the realm of ensuring insurance coverage and services are secured, both UR nurses and case management nurses do this same function of patient care. Similarly, case management nurses tend to be more associated with developing patient care plans, but UR nurses also do those functions. All in all, case management RNs and UR RNs do basically the same work in healthcare.
Who’s Treated by RN Case Managers?
Patients served by case management nurses are typically elderly, recovering from a serious surgery or accident, or living with a chronic illness. Some of the most common reasons for a patient to work with a case management RN include geriatric status, premature birth or other pediatric condition, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, brain injury or surgery, heart attack or surgery, stroke, and mental illness. They may be brought in to care for any patient who may need extended care or treatment.
Quick RN Case Management Facts
- Commonly required RN case management education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), plus passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Commonly required RN case management certifications: Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Commonly preferred RN case management certifications: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI)
- Commonly required experience to become a case management RN: Facilities typically require a minimum of two years of recent, in-hospital experience in order to hire you as case management travel nurse. To protect your license and preserve patient care, you’ll want the benefit of this experience before jumping into a travel RN career!
- Average annual case management RN salary range: $75,000-$116,000
Locations where case management RNs are in high demand: Like many nursing roles, demand for case management RNs is growing nationwide! Several states like California, Alaska, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii reflect high demand for case management RNs with higher average salaries for that role.