As a practicing RN, you might be wondering how to advance in your field. Even with the wealth of experience you gain each day on the job, you may believe you could use your skills to greater effect if given the opportunity.
If you are not yet an RN but aspire to become one, perhaps you would also invite the challenge that being a travel nurse case manager presents.
A nurse case manager bears responsibilities in a broader context than just the hospital. A travel nurse case manager takes this to the next level by regularly becoming familiar with a new healthcare context and fulfilling the same responsibilities within it.
Learn what it takes to be a travel nurse case manager and how it can help you not only advance your career but also enrich your life both financially and in terms of personal growth.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Travel Nurse Case Manager?
- Typical Duties of a Travel Nurse Case Manager
- Preparing To Work in Travel Nursing Case Management: A Look at Skills, Qualifications, Demand, and Earning Potential
- Exploring the Benefits and Challenges To See if Case Management Travel Nursing Is Right for You
- Travel Nurse Case Manager FAQs
- Begin Your Travel Nurse Case Management Journey With Trusted Nurse Staffing and Get Support Each Step of the Way
What Is a Travel Nurse Case Manager?
A nurse case manager is a registered nurse whose main responsibility is to use his or her medical expertise to ensure continuity of quality care among the different disciplines involved in a patient’s case.
The travel nurse case manager changes job locations approximately every 13 weeks, fulfilling the same role but in different geographical settings.
Typical Duties of a Travel Nurse Case Manager
The travel nurse case manager has clinical and administrative tasks, each of which reinforces the other. Tasks that involve working directly with the patient include:
- Assessing the patient’s medical and psychological status and seeking to meet their medical, emotional, and social needs
- Monitoring and evaluating the patient’s progress
- Developing care plans and treatment goals and ensuring patients receive the care and resources they need.
- Educating patients and family members about available resources, insurance and benefits, and treatment options
- Encouraging patients to think through their case and advocate for their own wishes as well as set goals for self-management
Tasks that involve working with other members of the healthcare team include:
- Reviewing the services provided to the patient to help control costs and ensure quality care, which involves ascertaining that evidence-based practice and regulatory standards have been followed
- Communicating with other healthcare providers to give and receive updates on patient progress
- Collaborating with the healthcare team as well as outpatient services for planning discharge, transitions to other healthcare settings, follow-up appointments, home health services, and equipment rentals
- Documenting all care and patient outcomes
Preparing To Work in Travel Nursing Case Management: A Look at Skills, Qualifications, Demand, and Earning Potential
Being a travel nurse case manager is demanding in many ways. To cope with these demands you will need the following skills:
- Time management and organization: Ensure everything gets done and that no details are overlooked, even when you have competing responsibilities.
- Communication: It is critical to communicate effectively with patients, their family members, and each member of the healthcare team.
- Decision-making: Be able to take decisive action and problem-solve when there are obstacles to patient care.
- Teamwork: This involves knowing how to resolve conflict among members of the healthcare team, when and how to delegate responsibilities, and how to treat others respectfully even during a disagreement.
- Teaching: Be able to ensure that patients, family members, and other healthcare providers understand why and how services have been or may be performed.
- Clinical experience: Understand the care a patient needs and how to provide it safely and effectively.
Nurse case managers may work in a hospital, hospice, home healthcare, or various outpatient settings. To be a nurse in any of these places, you must have graduated from an accredited nursing program (a BSN degree is most competitive) and earned your RN license by passing the NCLEX and fulfilling the desired state’s requirements for your nursing license.
You may also need to meet additional requirements, such as:
- 2 or more years of clinical experience as an RN
- 1 or more years of case management experience
The organizations that offer the above certifications also provide opportunities for networking and improving case management skills so that you can meet the requirements for case management experience.
There is an increasing demand for nurse case managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the decade 2022-2032 will see a 28% growth in the field of medical and health services managers.
Travel nurse care managers are needed in various healthcare settings, anywhere that long-term healthcare is necessary, including:
- Hospice care
- Home health care
- Insurance companies
- Long-term care facilities
The average salary for travel nurse case managers is currently $120,700, as opposed to the $87,500 salary for travel nurses and $78,000 for nurse case managers who don’t travel. This may include stipends for meals, travel, and housing.
Travel nurse case managers with more years of experience, certification, and credentials typically earn a higher salary. The figures above vary by location as well.
Exploring the Benefits and Challenges To See if Case Management Travel Nursing Is Right for You
Besides getting the chance to experience new places and people and earn a higher salary doing so, there are many other benefits of working as a travel nurse case manager:
- You can have a more personalized contract with the hours you choose.
- You will receive paid housing, travel stipends, and flexible benefits (including medical, dental, and vision insurance).
- You can get bonuses by extending your contract or recruiting new employees.
- You can travel with your family.
- You may take time off between assignments. Be sure you are familiar with your agency’s policy, however. Some agencies, for example, require that the time before your next assignment not exceed 25 days.
- Many nurses report higher career satisfaction due to the regular change of scene and high earning potential.
There are several potential challenges related to being a travel nurse case manager. Some specifically relate to being a travel nurse, while others have to do with being a nurse case manager. Combine the two sets of issues to understand what obstacles you could face as a travel nurse care manager.
As a travel nurse, you could encounter the following problems:
- Personal problems that require immediate attention and possible termination of your contract, such as an illness or death in the family. Keeping documented proof of such problems can protect you from being penalized.
- Problems within the hospital you are assigned to, such as your employer being unaware of your contractual agreement with your agency. Work closely with your agency and place of employment to resolve issues of this nature.
- Difficulty adapting to the facility’s policies and procedures, which can affect the quality of your performance.
As a nurse case manager, you may experience difficulties such as:
- Being involved for a long time with emotionally challenging cases, especially terminally ill patients.
- High volume and highly complex workload, involving lots of paperwork and administration besides direct patient care.
- Resistance from insurance companies to cover services for the patients for whom you are trying to advocate.
- You may face situations for which regulations are ambiguous and be unsure about the proper course of action to take.
Travel Nurse Case Manager FAQs
Who Do Travel Nurse Case Managers Work With?
Much of a travel nurse case manager’s job involves independent work, but there is still a significant amount of interaction with:
- Other nurses
- Patients (geriatric, pediatric, or patients with chronic conditions)
- Insurance companies
Where Do Travel Nurse Case Managers Work?
Travel nurse case managers are needed in various settings. Many facilities turn to travel nurses because it is difficult to find nurses with case management experience locally. The following are common sites for work:
- Home health agencies
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Long-term care centers
- Large doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics
- Hospice organizations
- Cancer treatment centers
- Children’s hospitals
- VA health systems
The location and type of nurse case manager position you apply for may also affect your salary.
How Is A Case Managed From Start to Finish?
A nurse case manager usually has several cases open at any given time, but here is a look at how one case is managed from beginning to end:
- Screening: Review the patient’s medical history, medical records, and current circumstances (finances, living situation, social support).
- Assessment: Personally assess the patient’s health condition and review how they have responded to treatments in the past.
- Risk Evaluation: Determine the patient’s risk for particular conditions, considering such things as finances, mental health, blood pressure, and current medical status.
- Planning: Create a plan of care for the patients, including their objectives for health and self-care, healthcare options, a workable schedule, and any resources available to help meet their goals.
- Implementation: Help the patient implement the plan by educating them about their health situation. Encourage the patient to attend appointments.
- Follow-up: Verify the patient’s progress in the plan by consulting with the patient, care providers, and the members of the patient’s support network. Advise if changes to the plan are needed.
- Evaluating Outcomes: Evaluate the entire case to determine the effectiveness of the care plan, paying attention to the patient’s medical status, finances, and the quality of care the patient received.
How Can I Advance My Career Through Travel Nurse Case Management?
Travel nurse case management can prepare you for relevant higher-level jobs, including:
- Nursing Faculty
- Utilization Review Nurse
- Case Management Director
- Case Management Supervisor
- Nurse Informatics Specialist
Earning a Master of Science in Nursing or other advanced nursing degree can also increase your potential for advancement within the nursing profession.
How Can I Find Travel Nurse Case Manager Jobs?
Use Trusted Nurse Staffing’s Pronto app to find a travel nurse case management job that fits your desired criteria.
Begin Your Travel Nurse Case Management Journey With Trusted Nurse Staffing and Get Support Each Step of the Way
Whether you are a nurse case manager looking to gain more diverse work experience by traveling or a travel nurse hoping to take the next step toward a more comprehensive career in health services, Trusted Nurse Staffing can support you in your goals.
We can guide you in securing a travel nurse case management position in potentially any one of the 50 states. We can also help you ensure you have the appropriate qualifications. Our service is highly accessible, so if you would like to get started, be sure you will receive personal help when you reach out to Trusted Nurse Staffing.