How Do I Become a Certified Care Manager?

According to the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM), those who want to become a certified care manager must meet three levels of criteria related to education, supervised care experience and direct client contact.

Criteria One

The NACCM defines criteria one as a master’s degree related to care management. These fields include nursing, counseling, psychology, gerontology, rehabilitation, public health, social work and human services. It also includes physical, occupational and marriage and family therapy. In order to be eligible, the candidate must be currently employed in the field of care management. The NACCM will also consider employment experiences accumulated after the earning of a master’s degree within the last 10 years. Criteria one also requires at least two years of full-time care management experience with at least 50 hours of supervision every year.

A Master of Science in nursing administration is an excellent degree choice to meet the educational requirements for criteria one. These programs combine advanced nursing curricula with the business skills needed to supervise health care organizations. Students take classes in policy, finance, human resources and operations management. These programs offer classes in health law and ethics, so students learn about insurance statutes, biomedical research and demand management. Learning about Health Information Systems (HIS) teaches students how to integrate and leverage technology within health care organizations.

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Criteria Two

For criteria two, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree related to care management or any bachelor’s degree with a college-based certificate in care management. They will need two years of full-time care management experience and one year of full-time, direct experience with clients. Possible fields include nursing, social work, mental health and care management. Popular bachelor degree include psychology and health care majors. A bachelor’s degree in health care management is an excellent option for these candidates. These four-year degrees usually come in health administration and health policy analysis concentrations.

These programs teach students about health care policies and how they influence organizations and the delivery of care. Students are exposed to active interest groups, economic health models and the various levels of government involved in policy making. Classes in health care marketing will examine marketing principles within the framework of health delivery systems. Students learn about health care consumer behavior, market segmentation and environmental opportunities. Learning about the foundations of gerontology will introduces students to the conceptual and theoretical perspectives on aging within multidisciplinary frameworks.

Criteria Three

The NACCM’s third criteria requires an associate’s degree in a field related to care management or a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. These candidates must have an RN Diploma with at least three years of full-time care management experience. They will also need at least two years of full-time direct experience with clients in the standard fields. The most logical degree for criteria three is an associate’s degree in nursing and an RN license.

These programs are designed to produce nurses who can implement evidence-based practices in a variety of healthcare settings. Students gain the knowledge needed to provide quality care to clients in hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities and community based homes. After graduation, they will have the skills and knowledge needed to successfully pass the National Council Licensure exam for RNs.

Those who want to become a certified care manager must meet one of the three different levels of qualifications explained above.