WHERE do I begin?!

  1. Hi all! I am interested in becoming a RN case manager but I’m not entirely sure where to begin. I have only one year experience as an RN (I know, not so much) but I have always been more interested in coordinating care for patients rather than actual bedside nursing.

    I was looking into getting my CCM but that requires experience as a case manager. All the open positions I’ve seen require experience as well as a CM. So my question is—where do I begin? How do I get my foot in the door? Interested in hearing anyone’s experience as a RN CM, how you started your journey and how you are enjoying it so far. Thank you! (Sorry if this is a repetitive question, I searched the forum beforehand and didn’t find much info).
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from Allie_G
    Hi all! I am interested in becoming a RN case manager but I’m not entirely sure where to begin. I have only one year experience as an RN (I know, not so much) but I have always been more interested in coordinating care for patients rather than actual bedside nursing.

    I was looking into getting my CCM but that requires experience as a case manager. All the open positions I’ve seen require experience as well as a CM. So my question is—where do I begin? How do I get my foot in the door? Interested in hearing anyone’s experience as a RN CM, how you started your journey and how you are enjoying it so far. Thank you! (Sorry if this is a repetitive question, I searched the forum beforehand and didn’t find much info).
    If you are already a Staff RN, talking to your current employer about becoming an entry-level/new case manager for the organization. Even if there are opening that want experience (that is why they ask for experience and a CCM), your employer may make an exception for you depending on their needs and on you! If that does not work, talk to former employers and keep applying to different positions until someone gives you a chance.

    By the way, do not forget to change your resume to show an ability to become a RN CM. Your resume may be very bedside looking with skills and experience that only illustrates bedside nursing. Although you are a bedside nurse, you need to show within your bedside nursing experience some experience in assisting others through the system, providing good resources and discharge education, collaborating with ancillary departments, good customer service skills/awards, etc... By the way, your interview needs to focus on the same and provide real world examples to show that you can transition away from bedside. Good luck!
  4. by   fmf13
    Honestly, I agree with above poster. I "accidentally" fell into a Case Management position at the facility that I work. It is easier to get hired as an Internal applicant for a job than to try outside of the facility. Not saying it isn't possible, but hospitals will sometimes overlook lack of experience.

    I was an OB RN for 1.5 years and was transitioned into a temporary Discharge Coordinator position. It allowed me to get to know the Case Managers and to get to know their manager. It is really about who you know and the right timing.

    All I can say is talk to HR and see what jobs are available. Never hurts to apply, worst thing that happens is they say no. Good luck!
  5. by   nfahren05
    I found that it helped to know a fair amount about the US healthcare system and payer structures before that first interview for a CM position as a non-CM candidate. If you didn't have such a course in your BSN program (and most don't have sufficient detail anyway,) consider either taking a course or doing a fair amount of just general reading about the topic. Having worked for both insurance payers and hospitals, I've seen that it's generally easier to get a position on the payer side than in the hospital. They usually have deeper pockets for training than hospitals do, although certainly not as deep as in the past. Even if you can get a position through internal channels at the hospital, you'll come in functioning at new-grad level into a very fast-paced environment, and it can be brutal. I'm not saying that it can't be done, because obviously many nurses do exactly that, but it is a much more stressful way to start in a new specialty area. Not having your CCM is not a barrier to entry since everyone knows that you can't get it at first anyway (you are expected, in most positions, to get it as soon as possible) but it does close off some avenues (e.g. work comp CM since most states require certification) so look for positions that have titles like Case Manager I where there is a tiered system with CM II/III, etc. because those are ones where the employer may be expecting to be doing some training.

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