Case management nurses are medical professionals responsible for the planning and management of patient treatment. The work might entail record keeping, screening, assessing patients' eligibility for various types of medical treatment, doing patient needs assessments, monitoring the plans of patient care, and determining whether patients are getting appropriate care for their illness. If you want to become a case management nurse, you generally will need a college degree in nursing and a certificate in nursing case management.
To become a case management nurse, it is helpful to get an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in nursing so you can become a registered nurse (RN). Getting good grades in the nursing program is also helpful because having a high grade point average (GPA) will demonstrate that you have good understanding of science and nursing concepts. This will likely make you more competitive when you apply for a job after college.
During the last semester of college, the career services department at your college can usually provide assistance in your job search. Also, doing your own online job search could be helpful if you want to become a case management nurse. For example, becoming a member of a professional association such as the American Case Management Association (ACMA) could enable you to network with others and search online at the ACMA website where there are listings of various case management jobs available.
Another thing you can do to make yourself more competitive in the job market is to get a certificate in nursing case management. Getting a certificate in case management requires working for two years as a registered nurse, working for at least 2,000 hours as a case management nurse, completing 30 hours of continuing education as a nurse, and successfully passing a computer-based exam given through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). If successful in passing the exam and attaining the certification, the certification nonetheless must be renewed every five years.
Being a case management nurse can be stressful. The patient's family members may be tense or stressed due to the patient's illness and it may prove to be difficult for the case management nurse to get all the information needed to help the patient. That is why, in addition to having sufficient academic skills, case management nurses must also have good interpersonal skills. If you also have determination, adequate tolerance for stress, and good skills in recording data and doing analysis, a career as a case management nurse could be for you.
Although the work can be stressful, being a case management nurse does enable you to work in a variety of settings. For example, if you become a case management nurse, you could work at a hospital, rehabilitation center, physician's office, home health company, or insurance company. By contrast, you could work at a government agency, workman's compensation company, or any other medical setting.