I am a case manager RN. I also have a good relationship with my hiring manager and know why she hired me so here ya go:
1. BSN. Most medical groups, insurance co.s, hospitals get better reimbursement and accreditation if CMs have BSN.
2. Some experience in Public Health, health teaching, discharge planning, chronic condition management or something along those lines. Lots of states offer PHN licensure to BSNs whose program curriculum included community/public health that meets requirements. If you can get it, get it. My hiring manager, and 3 or 4 other CMs in my department were PHNs for some years before becoming CMs - she says that pretty much nailed why they hired me. Highlight any nursing experience in which you developed therapeutic, long term relationships with patients and followed them through chronic illness. Any telephone triage expertise or training is valuable too.
3. Get certified as a CM either by the Commission for Case Manager Certification or the ANCC Case Manager Board Certification. I cannot emphasize this enough.
4. Be prepared to sit in a cubicle all day calling patients, to wear business clothes, to earn salary instead of hourly, and go to lots of meetings. It is a far cry from working the floor, the clinic, or 12 hours in scrubs
. And it's not always better, it can be just as crazy busy, complicated, stressful and the grind of 9-5, M-F isn't the paradise you might think. We have had a couple of CMs who came straight from inpatient, bedside shift work nursing leave after 5 or 6 months because they missed working with patients and having those 3 or 4 days off a week. And, they missed overtime pay.
5. On the upside, it's very autonomous, independent work that actually uses nursing theory heavily, and really sharpens your critical thinking skills. Docs love us. Patients love that they don't have to come to as many appointments and have a go-to advocate. Case management is gonna be a big thing, it saves everyone money and increases patient satisfaction scores big time. And, the pay is great IF you have the experience and certification!
Hope that helps and good luck!