Moving Nursing Towards a Brighter Future: Exploring a New Role in Case Management.

brighter future for nurses

Bright Future for Nurses


Nursing is a wonderful profession that presents us a plethora of work settings to pursue our calling. The profession allows many work opportunities to partner with the patient, family, and community promoting well-being and healing to all that we serve. Working in a clinical setting a nurse has face to face interactions with his or her patient which allows the ability to effectively assess the patient’s needs. So what if you had an opportunity to work in a different setting as a nurse while maintaining your nursing skill set? Case management is one opportunity for nurses to put all their knowledge, skills and abilities to work. Assessment skills go beyond the bedside.

For many, nursing is viewed as the persona of a nurse in scrubs with a stethoscope strategically placed around the neck of a nurse entering the room of a patient. As effective change agents in healthcare, we can provide that same exceptional care to our patients where we can work collaboratively to improve patient outcomes and assist our patients in many settings. Moving towards a brighter future enhanced through innovative technology advancements allows us to stay connected through telehealth, electronic records, and patient portals to provide up to date results for necessary delivery of care. Case management is an area in nursing that allows the nurse to hone in on his or her skills and provide advocacy through face to face or telephonic interactions.

Communicating with case managers in the hospital, community and even home settings to connecting with the insurance side for members to provide such essential care is key in our current world of practice. Whether we as nurses arrange home health care needs, collaborate with the transplant registry for a complex patient we manage, provide disease management teaching such as diabetic preventative education or assist a patient after a work-related injury navigating disability or workman’s compensation requirement needs, there is a place for nurses to come together and provide the necessary resource management to patients in order to maintain optimal health. Much of the work of a case manager may begin as preventative management and continues to change as the patient is assisted in meeting his or her needs as medical conditions unfold.

Moving into the future I have learned as a clinician to become more mindful and adaptable to all the changes in healthcare while promoting continued advocacy and coordination of care for patient’s needs to be met. Keeping in mind, the golden rule caring for others the same way we want to be treated as humans all while having our medical needs safely managed. Medical advancements are also proving that life expectancy has changed and people have the ability to take a more active role in the decision-making process. We as clinicians have the ability to support and facilitate the needs for those we serve.

As nursing professionals, education affords us as individuals the requisite skills necessary to provide safe and equitable patient and family-centered care across many venues to support the ethical and cultural needs of the patients. We also have the unique opportunities to learn from the generational and diversified individuals within the workplace. Teamwork and collaboration are paramount within the workplace. Day to day operations is safeguarded with proper adherence to standards of care, health care policy and procedures, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities individuals possess as a whole.

When we place value on collaboration and effective communication through interdisciplinary partnerships positive outcomes benefit the patients we serve. Although nurses work independently, communication and interdisciplinary collaboration enhance patient outcomes. As nurses and care managers we can maintain the organizational commitment as well as safeguard our patients in a rewarding an autonomous role. Want to learn more about a nursing role that can change the life of the patients you serve, learn more about the role of a case manager, and explore the many opportunities that are available in nursing.

Submitted by Guest Author: Lisa Whiffen MSN, RN, CCM

Lisa graduated from Brockton Hospital School of Nursing in Massachusetts in 1988 as a Diploma RN. After graduation, she began working as an RN and charge nurse on a Med/Surg and Hospice unit where she worked full time and began her journey to advance her education. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1996. Lisa was then recruited by a group of medical internists she worked alongside in the clinical setting to manage their practice as a clinical manager.

Lisa is extremely passionate volunteering her time with her husband and three children at their school, where their motto is “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”. She is also a Bereavement Specialist Consultant for the Massachusetts Center for Unexpected Infant and Child Death. In addition, Lisa works as an Associate Lecturer Professor for Curry College in the Division of Nursing in Milton, Massachusetts. When questioned about the future, Lisa smiles and replied: “the future will always be brighter with more nurses, if I can share knowledge to promote the wellbeing of others we care for then I am happy!”


Everything You Need to Succeed During the April CCM Exam

aprill ccm examThe April Certified Case Manager exam is coming up!

Are you excited? Feeling ready?

Here are a few tips for the last week of preparation.

Day Before the Exam

  • Ensure you know where the exam will be administered, and this is a good time to do a “test drive” so you’re aware of traffic issues, where to park, etc.
  • Take the day off from studying
  • Watch your caffeine intake
  • Help prepare your body for sleep by doing a physically tiring activity such as jogging, swimming or biking

Night Before the Exam

  • Eat a healthy dinner that won’t cause heartburn or indigestion
  • Set out or pack everything you need for the next morning, clothes, notes, directions to the testing center, etc.
  • The few minutes right before you go to sleep are great for memorization, read over the main points in your notes, vocabulary words, etc.
  • Set an alarm, maybe two, just in case


CMSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo

Case Managers Enjoy Networking and Nightlife in the Heart of Texas

cmsa conference and expo

Question: Which U.S. city has a legendary live music scene, has been ranked the 2nd best city to live in, and has “Silicon Hills” as a nickname?

Answer: Austin, Texas Not only is Austin an amazing place to visit, but it is also where the Case Management Society of America will be hosting their 2017 conference.

Have You Considered Attending a Case Management Conference?

Attending conferences is a great way to improve your career. By coming together with like-minded professionals, your opportunities for professional growth and networking are unlimited. Conferences provide the chance to meet industry experts and influencers in person. This year’s keynote speakers include Dr. Mary D. Naylor, Dr. Stuart Robertshaw (Dr. Humor) and Jonathan Mann

You will learn about new tools to use for case management, expanding your resources, networking with new colleagues and having fun doing it! Additionally, you can break out of your comfort zone, travel to a beautiful city and learn new things in a new space.

Join Us in Austin!  

Austin is located in the heart of Texas. The city is home to more than 250 music venues, a vibrant arts scene, a wonderful ballet company, world-class museums, one of a kind shopping and beautiful outdoor spaces. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful city. (more…)

Is Becoming a Certified Case Manager in Your Future? The Time is Now!

Case Manager Graphic

Do you love being a CaseManager, but feel stuck in your career? Are you looking to grow in your profession, or move up in your current position?

You love being a case manager and want to continue, but you’re looking for a way to make it an even better profession.

Obtaining certification may be the answer you are looking for. There are many reasons becoming certified will help you both personally and professionally. There are increased job opportunities for certified case managers. According to the CCMC, “the percentage of employers who require board-certification is growing, 40.2% in 2014 vs. 25.9% in 2004. (more…)

Introducing the Online CCM Review Course

Online CCM Review CourseWhen I started studying for the CCM Exam, I noticed the information I needed was not easy for me to find and understand.

I needed to organize my notes by knowledge domain and thought this information could help others who were studying for the exam.

I read the study guides, researched the web, spoke to a bunch of people, joined a study group, organized my notes and put the information online so I could easily access my notes from anywhere.

Thus, was created.

Growth of a Community  

Since the launch in December of 2013, I passed the CCM exam in April of 2014 and have had thousands of visitors use the study guide, and the numbers keep growing.

We have an active Facebook group with over 1600 members. It has become a place for people to connect, share information and help each other.

I smile each time I hear someone passed because of my resources.

Along the Way, I Met Anne

Anne is a healthcare leader with over 40 years of experience as a critical care nurse, case  manager, professional patient advocate, educator and digital journalist. She has expertise as an independent case manager, specializing in catastrophic case management, workers’ compensation, and long – term care.   (more…)

5 Benefits of Obtaining the Certified Case Manager Certification

5 Benefits of Obtaining the Certified Case Manager CertificationHave you decided to take your nursing career to a new level by becoming a case manager, but you’re still wondering if obtaining certification is really needed?

It’s a valid question to ask yourself.

There are so many factors to consider.

When will I study? How will I pay for the exam? How will I make sure I complete the continuing education requirements?

Answers to these questions will require a solid plan.

When you consider the expanding need for certified case managers including the growing elderly population and the growing number of chronically ill patients, finding a way to get that certification is a good step in your new nursing adventure.

Here are a few reasons to become certified.

Sense of Personal Accomplishment

From that first successful IV stick to walking the line at graduation, every time you master a new nursing skill you feel great.

Obtaining certification is a mark of distinction that proves to you, your patients and the healthcare system you have acquired the knowledge to provide experienced case management to those you serve.

Increased Professional Opportunities

As healthcare continues to advance, the need for certified case managers who have the knowledge and skill to manage complex cases while saving time and money will increase.

From the increasing elderly population to more cases of chronically ill patients needing help navigating the healthcare system, the demand for certified case managers will continue to rise.  

In a survey of nurse managers, 86 % indicated they would hire a certified nurse if everything else was equal.

The need for certified case managers will continue to grow, why not get certified now? (more…)

Case Management Foundation Supports Professional Case Managers

case management foundation logoWhile attending the CMSA convention in Long Beach California this summer I was introduced to many new resources for case managers. By far my favorite was the Case Management Foundation. Prior to attending the convention I was unaware of the foundation and their work, so I wanted to help spread the word about this organization and the great work they are doing.

The Case Management Foundation (CMF) is a charitable organization created to support education, research, and professional development for case management professionals. They support projects and programs that help case managers in need, honor case managers who make significant contributions to the industry, contribute to case management research, and encourage collaborative and inclusive dialogue in our community.

CMF Certification Scholarships

CMF’s scholarship program awards several $500 grants to case managers who are currently experiencing an economic hardship that makes case management certification, preparation materials, or exam fee’s related to certification impossible at this time. To be eligible for the grant, applicants must have a college degree in healthcare, be working toward their case management certification, and experiencing an economic hardship. The 2016 application window is open now, and will close at 5:00 p.m. EST on October 1st. (more…)

Forget the Resolutions, Make Goals!

Forget the Resolutions, Make Goals!This is the time of year when everyone is talking about their New Year’s Resolutions. I decided a few years back not to make resolutions. To me, resolutions seem too close to rules; “I will go to the gym every day. I won’t eat sugar.” I don’t do well with people, even myself, telling me what I can and cannot do. I get this urge to rebel which sabotages my good intentions. But I still have a thing I want to accomplish. So I have decided to forgo the resolutions for goal setting.

Goals to me, are more of destinations that I am going to. Just like a map on a long journey shows you all the places you need to go through before reaching your destination; long term goals, short term goals and actions steps direct us to get where we want to be and mark our progress along the way. We may need to take a detour or stop for a rest, but by focusing on our end destination we will eventually get there.

Harvard did a study back in 1979 where it asked their MBA students about their goals, specifically if they had them and if they were written. They found that only 3% had written goals, 13% had goals that were not written down, and the remaining 84% had no goals. 10 years later they interviewed those students and found that the 13% who had goals were earning on average, twice as much as the 84% without goals. Even more amazing, the 3% with clearly written goals were earning on average 10x more than the other 97%. This inspires me to find time to make written goals! (more…)

Successful Study Strategies for the CCM (Updated September 2020)

Successful Study Strategies for the CCMWhen I initially found out I would have to become certified in case management for my job, I did not think it was a big deal. I had done well in school, passed a certification exam previously, and completed plenty of continuing education units. But as the time approached for me to obtain my certification, I became anxious. I needed to find successful study strategies for the CCM Exam.

It had been a long time since I had studied. I wasn’t sure I even remembered how. In school, the teacher taught us, and then we were tested on the material. This time there was no teacher. What was I supposed to study? When I was in school, it was my job to study. Now I had a full-time job and a family to take care of. Where was I going to find the time? It all seemed overwhelming, but I got through it and so will you. Here are some things I learned along the way to help me pass my CCM Certification and I believe they will help you too.

Where to Begin?

Start off by determining what you need to know. Luckily, CCMC gives us a list of the examination content, which tells us exactly what we will be tested on and the number of questions in each of these areas. Look over the exam content and determine what areas are your strong points and what areas you need to learn more about. Once you do this you can make a list of resources you will need to study from. This can include books, workbooks, and the internet.

Schedule It

What gets scheduled gets done. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done.  — Michael Hyatt

Determine when you will study. “When I get time” is not good enough. You need to schedule in your study time like you would an appointment. After looking at my schedule, I determined I did not have time to study! I tried squeezing it in after the kids went to bed, but found myself falling asleep. I decided if I was serious about this, I had to make it a priority and schedule it first thing in the morning before my 4 kids woke up. This was a huge deal for me. I am not, nor have I ever been a morning person. Getting up at 5 am to study was torture, but I did it. And the longer I did it the easier it became. (more…)

Do You Educate Your Clients About NP’s?

Do You Educate Your Clients About NP's?During my phone call to Mr. Steele he informed me once again, “I’m changing doctors”. This client had been referred to Case Management for his new diagnosis of prostate cancer, for which watchful waiting had been recommended. But he also had uncontrolled Type II Diabetes, hypertension and numerous other problems as well as a history of noncompliance. In the four months since I had opened him to Case Management, he had changed primary care doctors twice, and now he was changing again.

Mr. Steele and I had developed a good rapport and he wanted me to recommend a new Primary Care Physician. Knowing his track record, I was more than a little uneasy making a recommendation.

His noncompliance was due to not understanding “why” he was told to do something. Once he was educated on the “why” and “how” he was happy to comply. He was very proud of the progress he was making with his lifestyle changes. I was afraid if he did not like the PCP I recommended it could damage the trust we had built and the progress he had made.

I began asking him why he decided to stop seeing his previous 3 doctors. He spent the next 10 minutes telling me all of the reasons he was not satisfied. They all seemed to stem from the same issues, he did not feel that he was heard, respected or educated. In his opinion, each visit was a waste of his time.

I then asked him what he was looking for in a doctor. He wanted someone who would listen to him, spend more than 3 minutes with him, educate him, and take the time to make sure he understood the plan of care before he left the office. I told him he was not looking for a doctor, he was looking for a Nurse Practitioner. (more…)