– Case Management Specialization Offers Nurses Great Career Opportunity and Earning Power While Improving Patient Care and Future of Nursing –
AURORA, Colo. – September 1, 2016 – Case managers play an essential role in hospitals and health systems helping to ensure that patients get the best care by improving quality and patient experience. Case managers are quickly becoming the face of healthcare.
The path to a career as a case manager requires advanced skills and experience in case management. According to Elaine Foster, Ph.D., MSN, BSN, RN, Associate Dean, Nursing Graduate Programs at American Sentinel University, a Master’s Degree with a Case Management focus provides nurses with increased career opportunities and earning power.
“A BSN degree has become the standard for the nursing profession, but an MSN offers the opportunity to specialize and elevates a nurse’s status on the care team,” says Dr. Foster. “Case management has come out of the background and moved into the forefront of nursing. Tomorrow’s case managers will have to consider clinical, financial, and patient advocacy functions simultaneously, as they balance competing interests.”
After Lane Meltzer came to the United States in 1985 after earning a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at the University of the East in the Philippines, she worked her way to a nursing supervisor at Whitemarsh Behavioral Health Care. It then became a goal to further her education, but the birth of her daughter put earning a BSN on hold for 12 years.
Once Meltzer began a new position at Holy Redeemer Hospital in the transitional care unit, her supervisor approached her about pursuing her career goal and together they worked to make it happen.
“Knowing that my schedule would best fit with online learning, I researched my options and found American Sentinel. When I compared American Sentinel to other universities, it totally fit my needs.”
Onward and Upward
Meltzer says her employer Holy Redeemer was very supportive with tuition reimbursement and her director encouraged her to get a BSN.
“I figured I might as well keep onward. The BSN is an entry point to nursing now, but to gain a competitive edge, you need a master’s degree,” says Meltzer.
As she got into the MSN program, Meltzer decided to pursue the case management specialization because it is a growing field.
“Today, with the many changes in the industry, we’re seeing more patients going home and receiving care there,” she says. “It is important to me that we make that transition from hospital to home a good one.”
Meltzer hopes to one day have the opportunity to work in case management for her employer of 17 years, Holy Redeemer.
“Holy Redeemer’s mission is aligned to what I believe in as a nurse,” she says, whose experience there and as a per diem nurse at other healthcare organizations spans medical-surgical, psychiatry, orthopedic, hospice, long-term care and critical care.
“Patients are the highest priority for Holy Redeemer and me,” says Meltzer who is one of ten American Sentinel students and recent alumni working at the hospital.
Celebrating Her Success
In May 2016, Meltzer completed her MSN, case management specialization. She traveled to Denver one month later to celebrate with her classmates and professors.
“It’s a great feeling to see the people who have been cheering you on and to congratulate one another for finally getting there,” she says, adding that she intends to pursue certification in case management later this year.
“I’m proud to have gotten here,” says Meltzer. “I know that these degrees will enhance my nursing career in the future.”
Case management can be an excellent career choice for nurses looking to become more competitive in the professional nursing practice marketplace. The marketability in the case management field will depend on the credentials, education, and on-the-job experience; it’s crucial to identify the knowledge and skills you will need and begin planning strategically to achieve them.
“Case managers are on the leading edge of the new healthcare scene,” says Dr. Foster. “They are the ones that will broaden preventive care to communities, collaborate with outside vendors and other healthcare professionals, and help to restructure the future of healthcare treatment and payment.”
American Sentinel University’s CCNE-accredited MSN case management program was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as being among the “Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.”
About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online nursing degree programs in nursing, informatics, MBA Health Care, DNP Executive Leadership and DNP Educational Leadership. Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Accrediting Commission of DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.