Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers are pivotal in connecting patients with healthcare providers, arranging appointments, and facilitating treatment plans. Their collaborative efforts with patients are geared towards ensuring they receive the necessary care to achieve their wellness objectives.

Functioning as intermediaries between healthcare professionals, providers, and patients, nurse case managers employ the case management process to evaluate patient needs, create treatment strategies, schedule appointments, and coordinate all pertinent stakeholders effectively.

For registered nurses (RNs) seeking to apply their medical expertise to assist patients beyond the confines of the examination room, a career as a nurse case manager might be an ideal fit.

In this article, you will gain insights into the responsibilities and functions of a nurse case manager, the steps to pursue this career, expected salary ranges, the job prospects within this field, and the certifications and educational programs that can guide you toward becoming a proficient case manager.

What is a nurse case manager?

A nurse case manager, also known as an RN case manager, is a healthcare professional who collaborates with patients to connect them with the necessary healthcare providers, resources, and services for achieving their wellness objectives. By training these professionals, registered nurses (RNs) leverage their medical knowledge to guarantee patients' access to suitable healthcare services. They are responsible for scheduling appointments, devising appropriate treatment plans, and facilitating communication with health insurance providers.

What does a nurse case manager do?

A nurse case manager's primary focus is to deliver optimal healthcare tailored to their client's situation. Typical responsibilities in this role encompass:

  • Assessing a client's medical history.
  • Conducting interviews to evaluate clients and understand their needs, health history, and available support systems.
  • Serving as a bridge between clients, healthcare providers, and health insurance entities.
  • Crafting treatment plans and arranging appointments.
  • Educating patients and their families on pertinent health-related topics.
  • Monitoring health outcomes and proposing potential adjustments to treatment.
  • Offering care and support to patients.

Nurse case manager salary

Experience Level

Average Annual Salary

0-1 years


1-3 years


4-6 years


7-9 years


10-14 years


15+ years


It's worth noting that nurse case managers typically earn salaries higher than the average. According to Glassdoor, the average total pay for a nurse case manager is $93,412 per year. This figure comprises a base annual salary of $88,939 and additional compensation of $4,473. The total pay can also vary depending on the nurse case manager's experience level.

Job Outlook 

While there isn't specific official data available on the job outlook for nurse case managers, the broader data concerning healthcare and nursing trends suggests a positive outlook for this field in the coming decade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry is projected to experience a 13 percent growth between 2021 and 2031. Concurrently, the BLS anticipates a 6 percent growth in nurses during the same period, creating an additional 203,200 nursing jobs each year. These statistics, coupled with an aging population, strongly indicate continued demand for professionals in the healthcare field, suggesting a healthy outlook for nurse case managers in the foreseeable future.

How to become a nurse case manager 

Here are the steps to become a nurse case manager:

Attend a Nursing Program: The first step to becoming a nurse case manager is to become a Registered Nurse (RN), which requires completing an accredited nursing program. There are three types of programs to choose from: non-degree nursing programs, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN) program, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Each program equips you with the essential skills and knowledge needed for an RN, including medical expertise and healthcare training. While these programs can lead to RN licensure, some employers may prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees, which are becoming increasingly common.

Take the NCLEX-RN and Obtain Licensure: Upon completing your nursing program, you'll become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). Passing this exam is a requirement for practicing as an RN. Administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the NCLEX-RN assesses your nursing knowledge and ability to think critically in various nursing scenarios. Additionally, you'll need to obtain state licensure, allowing you to practice in the state where you plan to work.

Gain Nurse Case Management Experience: While technically qualified to become a nurse case manager after becoming an RN, gaining experience in this field is beneficial. You can seek case management positions or start in entry-level nursing roles involving some case management elements. In these roles, you'll accumulate nursing experience while learning how healthcare facilities operate, understanding the structure of the healthcare system, and observing how case management nurses assist clients. A few years of nursing experience will enhance your prospects of transitioning into a case management position later.

Consider Certification: To demonstrate your qualifications as an RN case manager, consider obtaining a professional certification. Some common certifications include:

  • Accredited Case Management (ACM) Certification: Offered by the American Case Management Association (ACMA), this certification showcases your expertise in the field. To qualify, you must be a licensed RN or social worker, possess at least one year of case management experience, and pass a two-part exam of knowledge-based questions and clinical simulations.
  • Nursing Case Management Certification (CMGT-BC): Provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, this certification demonstrates your competency in nursing case management. To be eligible, you must be a licensed RN with at least two years of continuous practice, a minimum of 2,000 hours in clinical case management over the past three years, and completion of 30 hours of case management education within the same period. The certification exam covers four sections: professional foundation, core coordination, quality management, and health promotion.


Q: What key skills are needed to excel as a Nurse Case Manager? 

Key skills include strong communication, critical thinking, empathy, and organizational abilities.

Q: Is it possible to specialize in a specific area as a Nurse Case Manager? 

Yes, you can specialize in pediatric, geriatric, or mental health case management.

Q: What is the average salary for Nurse Case Managers? 

The average salary varies by location and experience but typically ranges from $60,000 to $90,000 annually.

Q: Are Nurse Case Managers in high demand? 

The demand for Nurse Case Managers is growing as the healthcare system recognizes their value in improving patient outcomes and managing costs.

Q: Can Nurse Case Managers work in various healthcare settings? 

Absolutely. Nurse Case Managers can work in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and home healthcare agencies.

Q: How do Nurse Case Managers contribute to patient well-being? 

They ensure patients receive the right care at the right time, leading to better health outcomes and improved quality of life.


Becoming a Nurse Case Manager is a rewarding journey that allows you to make a meaningful impact on patients' lives. Following the steps outlined in this article and honing the necessary skills, you can embark on a fulfilling healthcare career. Remember that Nurse Case Managers are essential patient advocates, ensuring they receive the best care possible. This profession awaits you if you're passionate about healthcare and helping others.

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