How to Become a Nurse Case Manager

Nurse Case Managers are responsible for coordinating and managing patient care within a health facility. They are registered nurses (RNs) themselves who take on the additional duties of delegating work and preparing schedules for the nursing team.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that over 2.9 million registered nurses (RNs) are performing their duties in the country as of 2019. This number will surely grow in the coming years as more people join the profession. If you want to be one of them, this piece on how to become a Nurse Case Manager will help you.

Should I Become a Nurse Case Manager?

Education Required Associate or Bachelor’s Degree
Major Requirement Nursing
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training Required
Key Skills Social Perceptiveness, Communication, Coordination and Management, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning, Critical Thinking, Problem Sensitivity.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $77,460 (Registered Nurses)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 12% (Registered Nurses)

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET Online

Apart from managing nurses’ schedules and supervising their work, Nurse Case Managers take on various other administrative responsibilities. They also have to ensure proper care delivery to the patients in need. Because of the nature of the sector they are in, working overtime is quite common for nurse case managers.

Career Outlook

Between 2018 and 2028, a 12% growth in employment opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) has been projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This will primarily be due to the ageing population and a rising number of cases of obesity, diabetes, arthritis and other such chronic conditions. As a result, there will be greater demand for nursing services.

Steps to Become a Nurse Case Manager

Following are the steps to become a Nurse Case Manager in the US.

1. Complete Post-Secondary Nursing Education After you have finished high school, you can enroll in a specialized nursing education program. To that end, you have the following options.

  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Associate’s degree takes 2 years to complete while the Bachelor’s degree lasts for 4 years. The latter program has a more detail-oriented approach and provides multi-faceted nursing training. As a result, employers may prefer to promote/hire candidates having a Bachelor’s degree when filling nurse case manager positions.

2. Get Credentialed as a Registered Nurse (RN) :Once your education is complete, you have to become licensed as an RN. For that, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some other licensing requirements may be specific to the state you want to work in.

3. Gain Experience :When you have the license, you can start work as an RN. This is how most nurse case managers begin their careers. As you gain experience and become familiar with the tricks of the trade, you can start pursuing a case manager position.

4. Continuing Education and/or Certification:You can grow further in your career by pursuing continuing education and certification opportunities. Different institutes offer Master’s programs in nursing and case management. Moreover, you can earn the Certified Case Manager (CCM) credential by passing the certification exam. Work experience both as an RN and case manager is needed to take the test.

5. How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Case Manager?:The time taken to become a Nurse Case Manager may vary in different states. It will also depend on your chosen educational path. An Associate degree takes 2 years to complete while a Bachelor’s degree lasts for 4 years. After that, you will spend time working as an RN to gain the experience necessary to become a case manager. This work experience requirement differs from one state to another.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Nurse Case Manager?

The following requirements have to be fulfilled to become a Nurse Case Manager.

  • Minimum age of 18.
  • Legal American citizenship.
  • High School Diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) Certificate.
  • A nursing degree (Associate or Bachelor’s).
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  • Gain nursing experience.

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Nurse Case Manager?

Going by the latest published data of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses (RNs) in the country pocketed an annual mean wage of $77,460 in 2019.

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