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The debate continues to rage over who is best qualified to do case management. Must case managers have bachelor’s-level preparation? Must case managers seek certification?
Good data that begin to shed light on those questions now exist on hiring practices for case managers in the acute setting. In her recent study of U.S. hospital case management, Jana Stonestreet, PhD, RN, chief nursing executive for Methodist Health Care System in San Antonio, found that nearly every hospital in the United States that has case management hires RNs as case managers.
Of 374 respondents who answered study questions related to case managers’ education and other qualifications:
• 99.1% hire RNs as case managers.
• 55% hire only RNs as case managers.
• 65% hire RNs regardless of degree preparation.
• 38% also sometimes hire social workers and licensed vocational nurses.
• Several hospitals reported sometimes hiring respiratory therapists and/or information systems professionals as case managers.
• Only two hospitals reported requiring case managers to be certified.
• 28% prefer case managers to be certified but don’t require it.
• Of certifications mentioned, the Certified Case Manager (CCM) from the Commission for Case Management Certification in Rolling Meadows, IL, was preferred by the majority of hospitals surveyed.
• 50% hire case managers with three years or less of clinical experience.
• 83% hire case managers with general clinical experience.