bedside nursing vs case management pay


Hey All!

I am new to the forum but from what I have seen this is a great group of professionals! I am an ICU nurse with 2yrs experience. I have been encouraged to move into Case management (for family/scheduling reasons) but I'm not sure its the right move. While it sounds like an interesting area of nursing, Im a practical gal and I worry about taking a pay cut. I make about $29/hr (give or take with differentials) and I have no idea what Case managers can make (either in hospitals or insurance companies). I live in the DC area and I would love input from case managers or those that know what case managers at their institutions make. I don't want to head down a career trajectory that will send me to the poor house (I've got those student loans to consider) so I want to get a realistic picture of case management/utilization review before I even consider it.

Thanks in advance for sharing!

Specializes in ICU, nutrition. Has 7 years experience.

I don't live in your area, but I did move from a direct patient care position to a "non patient care" position a couple of years ago. My facility has 3 RN pay scales...A, B, and C. I dropped from an A to a B and I took a $0.50/hr pay cut from my base pay. I lost my differentials for floating and shift, and when I went full time at one facility instead of weekend option at one and PRN at the other, I took another pay cut (I was 25% plus at both hospitals and working 48 hrs/wk between the 2). The initial hit was the worst, but my raises are actually better in my job now, so I'm making up for it some. Over the course of 4 years I took about a $4.00/hr pay cut, but my quality of life is so much better. Less weekends, 10 hour shifts, a lunch break every day, autonomy, educational opportunities, nice street clothes or scrubs (my choice!), flexibility, I could go on and on.

Yes paying back those student loans is not fun, but I wasn't getting them paid off any faster when I was making more money...I was just spending more! We rely less on convenience foods, I'm not as tired after work, I don't need as much recovery time on days off, and I can make it to PTA meetings and volunteer at my kids' schools. I absolutely love what I do now, and I was getting to where I didn't really even like, much less love, ICU any more when I changed jobs.

I know case managers at my hospital are on the B scale, same as me.

If you are interested in case management, go for it! Life is too short to do something you don't love just for a little more money.

I work in the NYC Metro Area. I worked as a floor nurse for about 1.5yrs following school and went into Home Care. I got tired of all the travel and paperwork and went into Case Management. In my experience, at least in the NYC Metro area, salaries for Case managers tend to fall in the 70K+ range. It is a good field, and you will use every aspect of nursing. Many people think that once they are in case management, they are no longer "hands on". In my company, at least, we talk to our members, evauate their symptoms, do alot of health & prevention teaching. Many times I have had to refer members to the ER for evaluation because something was going on that they did not know was a complication or an effect of their disease process. Getting back to what I said about the use of all your skills, you WILL use all of them: you will use your nursing, psychology, management, negotiation, time management skills to name just a few. Plus, its not bad to work a 9-5 schedule M-F w/o holidays. I still miss physical "hands on" treatment, but I still work for a local VNA every so often to keep my skills up. I wish you good luck in your decisions.


39 Posts

Hi all! I was just browsing and this post caught my attention. I am a new grad RN and I'm interested in community/public health nsg. Just wanted to know if case management would fall into this category? It sounds like something that I would love doing! Would anyone mind telling me what kind of experience is needed for this and just a little bit more about what the role is all about? Thanks so much!

Hi Ria,

Welcome to the Profession! Community Health and Case Management are great fields. Because you are a new grad, however, I would recommend that you "get your feet wet" in the hospital setting. Many Home Care agencies and Managed Care Companies will not hire you without some general med-surg experience. I had a year and a half on the floor when I went into Community Health. It was challenging, but rewarding, and it gave me a solid foundation for practice in Community Health. As a Community Health Nurse you will be working usually in the field with more limited support than you would at the hospital. You need to have sharp skills and a good clinical judgement and many believe these are best developed in the hospital setting. Likewise, a background in Community Health is a stepping stone for Case Management. In case management you are utilizing your clinical skills to make judgement calls in how to best coordinate services for the patient you are managing. In addition, you can do alot of patient teaching and health promotion. I wish you good luck in whatever you do. Dave


39 Posts

Thanks so much DLStango! The info you provided was really helpful! Thanks for the advice! I plan on starting in the hospital sometime soon for my fundamental experience. But I am looking into other aspects of nursing. I love the pt teaching/ health promotion aspects of nursing so Community/Public Health sounds like something that would be right up my alley! We'll see what happens. Thanks again!

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