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 transitions 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.
Case manager, transitional care nurse, care navigator, care coordinator, complex care managers, health coaches – are just a few of the many titles used to reflect contemporary RN Case Manager and Advanced Care Coordination Practice. Contemporary RN Case Managers and Advanced RN Care Coordinators work in “front line” positions to partner with patients and their caregivers as they move across the healthcare continuum helping to ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time.
Nurses prepared for Contemporary RN Case Manager and Advanced Care Coordination roles bring expertise and valuable perspectives about community health, quality, safety, patient experience, workforce development and financial stewardship. Nurses on the front lines of care partnered with complex and high risk patients can work with organizational leaders to address challenges and frame opportunities for system changes and improved patient outcomes. Nurses prepared for Contemporary RN Case Manager and Advanced Care Coordination roles are essential to producing high value outcomes. More RNs are needed to fill these contemporary roles, and to develop the future of this specialty area of professional nursing practice.