To become a nurse case manager, currently licensed nurses require further training, along with being at least a certified R.N. Nurse case managers generally oversee one or a few patients, depending on the facility employing them. Training courses are available through universities and colleges. Online certification classes are another option. In 2011, nurses trained in case management typically earn around $56,000 yearly, according to PayScale.com.
A nurse case management training course usually takes about one year to complete. This is in addition to the amount of education required to become a registered nurse. Some colleges offer programs for students with a bachelor's degree in nursing, while other programs are only available to those with master's degrees. Continuing education courses, seminars or conferences are other ways to obtain training in nursing case management. Training includes reviewing case histories, lectures from professors and other industry professionals, learning the factors of financial management, taking tests, ethical implications of case management and reading assignments.
A nurse case manager coordinates medication, analyzes data, monitors and tracks patients' conditions and performs research. Nurse case managers usually work in conjunction with the patient and his care provider to plan, coordinate and implement a care plan mutually decided upon by all parties involved. Some nurse case managers also work on behalf of insurance companies to reduce costs while advocating for patients. Case managers handle more of the administrative side of nursing with fewer hands-on medical duties.
Nurse case managers usually work in an indoor office setting. They might work in hospitals, home health care, nursing homes or for insurance companies. Research laboratories and clinical trials also require nurse case managers. Some case managers are self-employed and contract with a number of clients simultaneously. This type of case manager has the most freedom and might choose to travel to various locations.
There are a variety of certifications available for nurses seeking a career in case management. These include Accredited Case Manager (ACM), Certified Professional Health Management (CPHM) or Certified Case Manager (CCM). The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) oversees licensing procedures for nurse case managers. Their requirements include being an R.N., having 2,000-hours clinical practice in case management and a minimum of 30 credit hours of continuing education within the previous three years. As of 2011, the fee for certification is $270 for American Nursing Association members and $395 for non-members. International candidates also pay an additional $125.
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