Since the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) there has been a significant increase in the call for Registered Nurses to practice in case manager, care manager, and care coordination roles in all practice settings. Demonstration projects taking place from the early 1980s to present describe evidence based nurse practice models that have emerged and are being implemented in contemporary practice. The PPACA specifically highlights care coordination via case management as “an essential component of high quality care and is a requirement of both Accountable Care Organizations and Patient Centered Health Care Homes.

The complexity of patients with multiple chronic conditions concurrent with the changes occurring within the U.S. healthcare system require specialized knowledge that expands on basic principles of care coordination learned in undergraduate and graduate nursing education. To date, most practice sites provide “in-house” or “on the job training” for RNs hired to fill contemporary roles. Reliance on “on the job training” is simply not enough to ensure success in the full implementation of these new and emerging RNCM roles. Data from the National RN Case Manager Training Center shows that RNs – both employed and practicing in the role as well as those preparing for the role and seeking employment recognize that additional knowledge and skills are needed to ensure their professional success. (See Fig. 1)

employment status of RNs who complete the RN Case Manager Certificate Program

Fig. 1:  Employment Status of RNs Completing the Contemporary RNCM Certificate Program


These RNs have specific reasons for enrolling in the Contemporary RNCM Certificate Program which include gaining specialized knowledge, increasing confidence in role performance, positioning themselves for specialty/board certification or employer recommendation.  (See Fig.2)

Why RNs took the Contemporary RNCM Certificate Program

National RNCM Nurse leaders recognize that specialized education of RNs as they adopt new contemporary case manager, care manager and advanced care coordination roles is essential to assure success of both the nurse and the healthcare organization.  The design of the Contemporary RN Case Manager Certificate Program provides Registered Nurses with the opportunity to: 

  1. Acquire the essential knowledge and skills needed to fill emerging roles in case management, care management and care coordination across patient care settings.
  2. Prepare to practice to their full potential as members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.
  3. Gain confidence in ability to perform and implement RN Case Manager and Advanced Care Coordination roles.
  4. Position themselves to meet CE eligibility requirements for specialty credentialing through ANCC and for recertification with both ANCC, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and CCMC, the Commission for Case Managers Certification.

Kelly Kruse Nelles RN APRN-BC MS
Co-Director and Lead Faculty, National RNCM Training Center