Nurse Case Manager Salary Guide

An RN case manager coordinates a patient's healthcare services and educates the patient and their family. They work with multiple medical specialties that provide different aspects of the patient's care. As patient advocates, they help create care plans, connect patients with healthcare services, schedule appointments and evaluate patients' needs. RN case managers aim to get each patient the care they need for the best possible outcomes. They often work with patients who are hospitalized or in long-term care facilities with complex medical needs where coordination of care is essential.

How do you become an RN case manager?

The standard requirement for becoming an RN case manager is to become a licensed RN by completing an accredited nursing program, passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and obtaining state licensure. However, most facilities require nurse case managers to gain additional experience.

You should have at least 5 years of experience in nursing before transitioning to a case manager position. Ideally, you'll have case management duties within your nursing roles or move into a position with case management responsibilities. You can also earn nurse case manager certifications for additional credentials.

What credentials/licensing does an RN case manager require?

You need an RN license in good standing to become a nurse case manager. Earning additional certifications sets you apart from other candidates. Some options include:

Average Nurse Case Manager Salary

$44.59/hour

The average salary for a Nurse Case Manager is $44.59 per hour.

Last updated on April 18, 2024. Based on active jobs on Vivian.com.

Where do Nurse Case Managers get paid the most?
StateAverage Hourly SalaryMax Hourly Salary
California$68$84
New York$53$74
Virginia$51$57
Pennsylvania$49$55
Maryland$49$57
Colorado$48$55
Texas$44$50
Tennessee$43$46
Georgia$41$45
Michigan$41$45
Massachusetts$41$68
Ohio$40$47
Illinois$39$52
Minnesota$39$50
Florida$38$45
Mississippi$29$39

Last updated on April 18, 2024. Information based on active jobs on Vivian.com and pay data from BLS and around the web.

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Nurse Case Manager Career Guide

Use our exclusive Career Guides to research the education, qualifications, skills and responsibilities for a variety of healthcare disciplines and specialties employers are hiring now.

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How can you increase your pay as an RN case manager?

You may increase your RN case manager salary by earning a master's degree in nursing, health administration or similar fields of study. Another way to earn more money is to pursue an advanced practice registered nursing degree. Obtaining one or more RN case manager certifications can also increase your salary.

How much does a staff RN case manager make?

A staff registered nurse (RN) case manager made an average of $44.46 per hour, slightly higher than the average nursing salary of $40.51, according to Vivian Health's salary data on May 1, 2023. Specific salary amounts can vary based on the geographical location and facility type. The RN’s education and experience levels and professional certifications can also impact the salary.

Is RN case management a growing career?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide growth information specifically for RN case managers, it projects that the overall demand for RNs will increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031. RN case manager positions may grow due to the increasing population of older adults with an increased risk of medical problems and chronic conditions.

What types of employers/facilities have the most RN case managers?

According to May 2022 data from the BLS, general medical and surgical hospitals employ nearly 31% of all registered nurses, including RN case managers. Doctor’s offices employ 7.5% and home health services employ more than 11% of RNs. Outpatient care centers employ almost 15% and nursing and residential care facilities employ over 9% of RNs.

Which employers/facilities have the highest pay?

According to May 2022 BLS data, the highest-paying industry for RNs in all fields included pharmaceutical manufacturing, which paid $53.02 per hour. Other high-paying nontraditional settings included nonscheduled air transportation at $52.48 and employment services at $52.43 hourly.

Among traditional healthcare settings, outpatient care centers paid a median hourly rate of $46.73. Despite employing the highest percentage of RNs, hospitals paid a mean hourly wage of $43.56, much lower than many other industries. Nursing homes and residential facilities had the lowest salaries at $37.11 per hour.

How does RN case manager pay compare to similar healthcare jobs?

RN case managers typically have some of the highest hourly rates within the nursing field. They often make more per hour than RNs, including those in specialty areas. For example, cardiology nurse salaries averaged $41.58 per hour, per Vivan’s salary data on May 2, 2023. Surgical ICU nurse wages averaged $42.41 per hour during this period. A nurse manager averaged $44.60 per hour, similar to an RN case manager. RN case management could be a suitable career path if you're looking for a way to use your nursing skills and earn a higher hourly rate.

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Nurse Case Manager FAQs

What is a Case Management RN?

Case management RNs are instrumental in ensuring patients’ needs are met in the most effective ways by creating and implementing comprehensive patient care plans. Although this specialty is primarily administrative, it’s become an invaluable asset to both healthcare facilities and patients. The overall duties of a case management RN are complex and change based on the patient and work setting. Due to this complexity, the salary for a case management RN is typically generous and other factors can boost it further.

Case management nurses are registered nurses who specialize in coordinating the overall care of individual patients. They typically work long-term with patients recovering from severe injuries or illnesses or who are suffering from chronic diseases. RN case managers primarily act as patients’ advocates while collaborating with other medical professionals to devise the best long-term health care plans.

Case managers must complete the educational requirements to become registered nurses, which necessitates earning a degree. While some employers accept case management candidates with associate degrees, most prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Some even favor applicants with master’s degrees, so advanced education may be advisable. Graduates at every level must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become RNs.

How a Case Management RN salary is based

Most employers only hire case manager RNs with hands-on case management experience. You generally need at least two years of experience working in a clinical setting to increase your job prospects. Also, the more experience you have, the higher your salary tends to be. A case management RN relatively new to the field can’t expect to earn as much as one with a decade or more of experience. As your years of experience grows, so should your base salary.

As you acquire more experience, you should also be gaining additional skills. Effective case managers hone their clinical skills along with soft skills like communication, time management, problem-solving, decision-making, and organizational skills. Strong leadership skills are especially needed to succeed and can greatly influence the basis of your case manager salary.

Nearly all medical facilities employ case management nurses, so you could work in a wide range of settings. However, some work settings may pay better than others. Besides job location, physical location can make a huge difference in a case management RN’s base salary. Certain areas of the country historically pay nurses more, such as the West Coast and the New England states, but higher-paying locales also tend to have higher costs of living. Urban areas tend to pay more than rural areas, no matter which area you’re in.

How to increase your Case Management RN salary

If you currently have a BSN, consider earning an advanced degree. Look for a Master of Science in Nursing program offering a case management track. The case manager specialty is ideal for nurses wanting to advance into a leadership position and an advanced degree can help with this goal. Gaining advanced education should also bump up your salary.

Although a healthcare facility may not require professional certification, many hospitals and insurance companies like to see it. Studies have shown that certified nurses earn higher salaries than those who aren’t certified. Thus, earning certifications can also give your salary a major boost while increasing your career prospects.

The American Case Management Association offers Accredited Case Manager certification specifically for health delivery system case managers and transitions of care case management professionals. To sit for the exam, you must have at least one year or 2,080 hours of supervised, paid Health System Case Management experience, or be employed in a role that falls within the parameters of a case manager. Exam applicants with less than two years of experience must also attach a declaration from a supervisor stating they have at least one year of supervised case management experience.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center also offers Nursing Case Management Certification (CMGT-BC). This competency-based board certification exam confirms you possess the clinical knowledge and skills of an RN in the case management specialty. You must have two years of full-time RN experience, including a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice and 30 hours of continuing education in nursing case management.

What professional certifications can potentially increase my salary as a Case Management RN?

Earning your Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP), Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN) or Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) often increases your salary potential as a case management nurse or makes you eligible for another position with greater responsibilities, which also might include a bump in wages.

Can having a Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP) boost my salary as a Case Management RN?

Yes, having a Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP) or any relevant professional certification has the potential to boost your salary as a case management nurse.

Can having a Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN) boost my salary as a Case Management RN?

Yes, having a Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN) or any relevant professional certification has the potential to boost your salary as a case management nurse.

Can having a Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) boost my salary as a Case Management RN?

Yes, having a Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) or any relevant professional certification has the potential to boost your salary as a case management nurse.

Where can I learn more about working as a Nurse Case Manager?

Take a look at Vivian's Nurse Case Manager Career Guide for more information, including required education, responsibilities, pros and cons and more.