MDS Coordinator


Could someone give me a little more information on what this nurse does? Personal experience would be awesome. Is it a good career path and are there opportunities for advancement in this field? I know a little bit about it, but I would like to learn more. I am a fairly new nurse (six months experience in med surg) and I am exploring career pathways and specialties. I have had enough med surg experience to learn it is not where I want to spend my entire career so I have decided to begin researching and exploring specialties. I am also interested in critical care and case management. I know this is not quite critical care, but it is a job title I do not see a lot in my area and it has made me curious. So if you have experience please share it, as well as the pros and cons of the specialty. Thanks!

joanna73, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

MDS co-ordinators are responsible to ensure that the nurses are coding their assessments correctly and that all assessments and care plans are completed on time.

MDS co-ordinators meet with their site management and quality improvement teams to ensure that unit documentation reflects how the MDS data is captured. Each facility is funded according to the level of care that is coded in the MDS.

In order to be proficient with MDS, at least 2 years of bedside nursing is usually required. It's not all about data. To understand and interpret the data, one should know the resident population and how they are assessed. Clinical judgment is important to be able to accurately interpret MDS.

The role is busy and you need to be efficient in order to meet deadlines. I've been working with MDS for more than 5 years. I'm now an educator, so part of my role includes quality improvement which is directly related to the data that the unit nurses are capturing in their MDS assessments.

Are you interested in working with geriatric patients? Can you pay attention to fine details? Do you enjoy working with data? These are important considerations for anyone interested in the role.


832 Posts

From the perspective of the facility you work at, your job as the MDS Coordinator will be to ensure that all assessments are done on time and that coding is at a minimum (to dumb it down: there is no ceiling, but there is a floor).

In my office, I have the different segments for coding in a nice chunky book which apparently every nurse should know inside and out. Your role will also be to educate nurses that enter the assessments. And you'll likely have to audit some assessments to ensure that they are completed properly.

There is little to no patient contact involved.