Case manager RN jobs are unique in the way they allow nurses to care for individuals in need. As RN case managers, nurses use their expertise in the medical field to provide support and guidance from a higher perspective. Case managers have access to all the information in a patient’s file, and are, therefore, expected to exercise an increased level of responsibility in the management of care.
Case management nurses also provide services to patients facing long-term health challenges. These health challenges can often be significant, and the work of an RN case manager can help make such challenges a little easier to face.
Case management nursing jobs occupy a special area of nursing, and require a certain set of skills and appropriate experience to ensure proper performance. Those interested in pursuing an RN case management job face a particular set of challenges. A case management job is not just any nursing job, and employers expect a certain level of expertise from those whom they choose to fill such positions.
What follows are three powerful tips for pursuing an RN case manager position. While utilizing this advice may not guarantee a position, it will certainly increase one’s chances of being picked out of the sea of potential applicants.
3 Tips for Pursuing an RN Case Management Position
Tip 1 – Obtain a four year degree
While it is possible to get hired as an entry-level case manager with only an associate’s degree, an applicant’s chances go up significantly if they possess a four year Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. The increased level of responsibility required of case managers makes employers more selective, and a bachelor’s degree indicates a certain level of commitment and nursing experience that an associate’s does not.
One must be a registered nurse before applying for a position as a case manager, which is possible with an associate’s degree. However, the more highly desired job one is applying for, the higher level of education necessary. For some case management positions, employers may even expect a Master’s Degree in Nursing.
For those who truly want to stand out in the job market, a Master’s in Nursing Case Management is also an option.
Tip 2 – Gain nursing experience before applying
Case management nurses are expected to be extremely knowledgeable in their field. The ability to accurately assess a patient’s condition, the treatments already received and those scheduled for the future, and the general mechanics of the health care industry are all obtained through experience as a registered nurse.
Many case management positions require at least a year of experience as an RN. Some may require two or more years of experience.
To be truly competitive, applicants should focus on gaining the relevant experience they will need while pursuing their regular nursing duties. The more on-the-job experience an applicant possesses, the more likely he or she is to be hired.
Tip 3 – Specialize
Many case management positions involve specialization. Whether it is pediatrics, geriatric care or cancer care, it is possible for RNs to gain experience in their preferred specialization before applying for the case management position.
Managing a case requires an in-depth understanding of all that surrounds it. An RN, who has spent several years working with children, will have a much more instinctive grasp of the terms, concepts and limitations surrounding pediatrics than one who spent their time in a different area of treatment. This will allow him or her to better manage cases in their area of expertise.
It is worthwhile for a nurse who is considering pursuing case management to plan out his or her career path. By putting in time as a nurse in a particular area of practice, he or she can gain the necessary skills to apply for a case management position in a similar area.
A Question of Value
As with many other jobs, case management positions are mainly awarded to those who will provide the most value to the organization who is hiring them. By applying the tips above, nurses interested in pursuing a career in RN case management can increase their value in the job market. This will make them stand out amongst the crowd, which is a sure way to increase the chances of getting hired.