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I am interested in case management but I have no experience. Do I need to take a course and become certified?

Friday June 7, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am interested in case management but I have no experience. I have been an OR nurse for six years. Do I need to take a course and become certified?

Future Case Manager

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Future Case Manager,

You do not need to take a course in case management and you don't need to be certified to get started in the specialty. Any nurse can learn how to do it on the job and that's how most nurses have learned. You already have a solid base in nursing and that is all you need.

It always is advisable to talk to other case managers (or any specialty you're interested in) before making a change, to be sure it's something you really want to do and to get insights into the specialty. Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with them. Also, the more you learn about the specialty, the better you'll be able to sell yourself at the interview.

Also, it is a good idea to attend local chapter meetings of the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org), as a guest for now. When there's something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. Networking is a very effective way to find a job.

Read: “How to change specialties” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Change-Specialties).

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.