The National RN Case Manager Training Center is the premier nursing education center designed specifically to address the education objectives of registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who are expanding their practices to include the essential roles of case manager and advanced care coordination. The National RN Case Manager Training Center has been originated and developed for registered nurses, by registered nurses.


To provide cutting edge evidence based education and training that supports the transition of nurses from traditional to new and emerging case manager/care coordinator roles across care delivery settings. The Affordable Care Act’s requirements for system-wide transition to a patient-centered, coordinated, safe, cost-effective and efficient health care delivery system serve as the underpinnings for the context of the knowledge and skill development curricula that we provide.


Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, 2010) highlighted the need to improve the quality of health care and reduce the cost of care. Twentieth century healthcare was a biomedical, acute care, physician driven healthcare model that was second to none, yet U.S. population health ranks 37th when compared with other developed countries. Shifting from an illness to a health model, coordinating care across the entire spectrum of service delivery, shifting from fee-for-service to value driven payments, encouraging all healthcare staff to work in inter-disciplinary teams, assuring that duplication of services is curtailed and that evidence underscores services provided have been proposed as the new standard in a transformed U.S. health care system. Registered nurses are essential to fulfilling this reform vision. Nurse case managers and RNs who provide coordinated care have been identified as central to successful inter-professional teams across most practice settings.

The Future of Nursing Report: Leading Change, Advancing Health, published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academies of Sciences, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was the culmination of years of examination of the knowledge and history of the nursing profession and its potential to significantly increase its contribution to the health of the Nation. The report strongly encourages registered nurses to extend their education in both academic and continuing education formats, and practice to their full potential. This means that all RNs need to practice at the top of their knowledge and educational training, and all RNs need to commit to lifelong learning.

The report also highlights the power of nursing to fulfill the emerging need for their knowledge and skills in a reformed U.S. healthcare system:

“Nursing practice covers a broad continuum from health promotion, to disease prevention, to coordination of care, to cure—when possible—and to palliative care when cure is not possible.Nurses have a direct effect on patient care. They provide the majority of patient assessments, evaluations, and care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, schools, workplaces, and ambulatory settings.

Nurses are at the front lines in ensuring that care is delivered safely, effectively, and compassionately.…nurses attend to patients and their families in a holistic way that goes beyond physical health needs to recognize and respond to social, mental, and spiritual needs.”

“Given their education, experience, and unique perspectives and the centrality of their role in providing care, nurses will play a significant role in the transformation of the health care system.”

Source: Future of Nursing Report: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011). Institute of Medicine, (now the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine) p. 1-5.

According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) Position Statement on Care Coordination and Nurse’s Essential Role, (2012), there exists a “sense of urgency to meet the demands of a quickly evolving healthcare environment”. Effective implementation of this leadership role for nurses in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) is essential. Implementation and expansion of this role needs to occur now.”

Strong role development and leadership will be required for success. While basic principles of care coordination are incorporated into baccalaureate education, nurses, as well as employers, have commonly relied on “on the job training” to develop care coordination and case management skills within health organizations. “Relying on on-the-job training, as many employers have proposed when asking RNs to fill these new roles, is just too risky. RNs deserve to feel confident, informed and prepared to succeed as case managers and care coordinators as they work to their full potential.


Lead Faculty and Co-Directors of the National RN Case Manager Training Center, Mary Jo Borden and Kelly Kruse Nelles have over 60 years of combined experience in nursing education, curriculum development and clinical practice. Both Kruse Nelles and Borden are social entrepreneurs committed to innovation in nursing practice and education, with experience in creating and implementing nursing roles that further the potential of the profession. Different from traditional entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs must first meet the “doing good” benchmark and be consistent with nursing’s vision and beliefs.

Their foundational work in clinical practice, practice innovation and education for Nurse Practitioners evolved into their commitment to developing appropriate, accessible and affordable education and training for RNs moving in to Contemporary Case Manager and Care Coordination roles. It is their shared belief that RNs in case management and care coordination roles are essential to fulfilling the systems and practice transformation changes required to fulfill the Triple Aim.

Mary Jo Borden RN, APRN-BC, CCM, MSN

25 years of experience as a nurse educator and clinical preceptor. Nurse Practitioner for 40 years. Developed innovative undergraduate and graduate nursing curricula that include course work specific to nursing role development, patient centered primary care, assessment and documentation, nursing and health policy, nursing history and ethics. Developed and implemented innovative practice models, including linking primary care with case management for frail elders and high risk prenatal patients in the 1990s. Worked extensively with state nurses associations on policy analysis and development. Over 15 years practice and knowledge expertise in case management/care coordination and certified by the Commission for Case Manager Certification.

Kelly Kruse Nelles RN, APRN-BC, MS

30 years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner providing nursing care, clinical management, practice model implementation, academic and clinical education across practice settings that have included primary care, community, rural and long term care. Over the past 10 years expanded advanced practice role to include care coordination and case management of frail elders living in community and long term care settings. Nurse leader, national speaker and experienced clinical practice consultant committed to innovation in nursing practice and improving healthcare delivery systems for patients.


We work collaboratively with individual nurses and healthcare organizations including private and public health systems and federally funded agencies including the Veteran’s Health Administration to prepare Registered Nurses for new and emerging case management and advanced care coordination roles. Our courses deliver high quality, evidence based content designed to support RNs in their ability to acquire new knowledge quickly and efficiently with a focus on application in practice that address quality measures and improved patient engagement and satisfaction.

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