Nurses who work in disease management commonly deal with patients who suffer from chronic illnesses. These healthcare providers may diagnose patients with specific disorders, administer treatments, and communicate medical concepts to patients and to family members. To become a disease management nurse, it is essential to earn an undergraduate degree in nursing. It is almost always also necessary to become a registered nurse (RN). The requirements for becoming an RN vary from location to location, so you should find out which courses and exams you have to take in order to become an RN in a location where you wish to practice.
In most cases, a person who wants to become a disease management nurse needs to have two or three years of clinical experience. This means that he or she needs to have experience working in relevant health facilities. It is usually the case that nursing students and RN certification candidates can begin to get this experience while they are studying toward their degrees of certificates. Many aspiring disease management nurses also must get several years of experience in a clinical setting after graduation.
Disease management nurses often have great responsibility. They must diagnose patients who are admitted to health clinics, communicate information to concerned parties, and sometimes even choose and oversee treatments and procedures. To become a disease management nurse, it might be necessary to have several years of experience in case management. It is important that you get experience related to the kind of disease management you are interested in practicing. A nurse who is interested in treating psychiatric disorders, for example, such as depression, should have experience performing disease management in a psychiatric hospital or clinic.
A person who wants to become a disease management nurse also must have excellent communication and problem solving skills. He or she usually is responsible for conveying information to physicians, referral managers, and case managers. Disease management nurses ensure that scheduling of patient treatments and procedures is sensible and effective. They also must put sometimes complex ideas into clear, basic language so they can explain them to the caretakers of patients.
To become a disease management nurse, it might sometimes be necessary to know more than one language. For example, if you practice in a region where English and Spanish are commonly spoken, you probably need to be fluent in both languages. Employers might require evidence that you have passed language proficiency exams.