Making Lives Better

Thinking about the future can be very scary, especially when deciding on what to do for the rest of your life. Knowing one aspect, like wanting to help people, can help the rest fall into place.

Nursing is one such career path that can open doors while helping people that need it along the way. In the field of nursing, one specific career a nurse can take is administrative, called a nurse case manager. They are non-clinical nurses and often coordinate care for those patients that are receiving long-term therapy as well as provide optimal timing in all aspects of their treatment. These types of nurses often specialize in one specific area, such as transplants, geriatrics, children, or elderly care.

Responsibilities of a nurse case manager can include helping patients understand their current health status and treatment options, working with other medical team members to ensure patients receive a cohesive treatment plan, promoting quality, cost-effective care and patient outcomes, and advocating for individualized options that meet a patient’s specific health needs. These nurses work in managed care facilities and hospitals as well as at government and home health care agencies. They can also be hired as independent consultants for these types of places and for one-on-one care.

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Working in nurse case management typically requires a 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing with special certification through the Commission for Case Manager Certification or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. More often than not, nurses continue their education and earn a Master of Science with a specialty in case management or some such related field.

As of July 2010, nurse case managers can earn, annually, anywhere from $54,200 to $73,969, depending on their experience and degree, or degrees, held. Having a BSN can earn one as much as $68,497, while the salary potential for holding an MSN is $87,321. Working in hospitals, government agencies, and foundations can earn one a top salary, self-employed nurse case managers garner the highest salaries on average. However, their abilities and efforts to coordinate health services between facilities and its patients are invaluable; they not only help lower costs, but also help improve patient health outcomes as a whole.