National RN Case Manager Training Center eLearning Platform Gives Registered Nurses a New “Practice Ready” Learning Option

The National Registered Nurse Case Manager Training Center (National RNCM) has launched its interactive eLearning platform for RNs and now offers an online learning option for registered nurses seeking “practice ready” case management/care coordination education.

Now available is a three-part guided learning series on “Contemporary Care Coordination Across Patient Care Settings.” This series is designed to help RNs who are moving into contemporary RN case manager roles better understand the system changes that are taking place today and the care coordination practice models that have been shown to be effective.

The patient care settings addressed within this three-part series include acute and transitional care, primary care and Patient Centered Medical Homes, and long-term support services. Nurses taking these modules will better understand care coordination within the context of each of these settings and can choose to complete one or all of the modules in the series based on their practice needs.

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Each guided learning module has been approved for four continuing education units (CEUs) by the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA), an approved continuing education provider of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Participants’ work is verified by case study application.

“Within these online modules,” Kruse explains, “we are focusing on more complete development of the system changes in which nurses will be practicing. We talk about the essential components that an RN in practice needs to begin to more fully implement care coordination in a patientcentered and contemporary way that better meets the needs of the patient and supports system changes. By providing more in-depth system knowledge and examples, we help nurses delve more deeply into the potential settings in which they will be practicing.”

The content in this and subsequent online learning modules is designed for both experienced and prospective case managers who want to gain a better understanding of acute and transitional care, and the role of the RN within that process. Material in these three online modules augments the role development topics covered in the National RNCM Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Education Program led by co-directors Kelly Kruse-Nelles and Mary Jo Borden. The online eLearning option for this program is scheduled for release in April 2015. By taking its training outside of the brick-and-mortar classroom and providing it online, the National RNCM Training Center is hoping to further its mission of helping nurses who are at the center of the transformation of health care today.

“All of our education programs are fully vetted,” Kruse stresses. “Part of that process is gaining input and reviewing evaluations from program participants. Many nurses who have been through the course appreciate the face-to-face dialogue but still want to have a way to continue to stay current and connected to this level of education. We’ve also received phone calls from nurses from across the country who ask about online training options and from employers who wonder what training options are available to them. This move to online training is a way for us to support both the individual nurse and the health care organization that has to make changes in how it pays for continuing education.”

Online coursework offered by the National RNCM Training Center is designed to allow registered nurses to earn continuing education units not only for maintaining certification as RN case managers, but also for obtaining it for the first time. Kruse emphasizes that one of their goals is to help nurses with education options that are real and reasonable. “One of the advantages that Mary Jo and I have as faculty and expert curriculum developers is that we are experienced clinicians and educators. We’re able to make sure that nurses get what they need, including tools and resources to take with them back into practice once they complete our courses.

“This is what makes the content within the courses so unique. It’s evidenced based and presented in a way that nurses can see how they are able to move it immediately back into practice. As they go through the program, they better understand how their practice impacts the patient and their skills as contemporary case managers and care coordinators bridge changing health care policy with clinical application.”

Kruse is excited about this new platform for training contemporary RN case managers. “One of things that I like about the work that we are doing is that this is such an essential part of needed nursing workforce development,” she concludes. “It’s one of those gap areas that we identified after the release of the Institute of Medicine’s ‘Future of Nursing Report.’ That was a springboard for us as we looked at the health care changes that were coming, and how we within the nursing profession need to respond.”

For more information, contact the National RN Case Manager Training Center about its Care Coordination Across Practice Settings Series or Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Education Program. Email inquiries can be sent to info@nationalrncm.com.