Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why join a professional nursing organization?

Greggs-McQuilkin, Doris RN, BSN, MA

REGISTERED NURSES and licensed practical nurses join professional nursing organizations for many reasons. For example, some join to learn what's going on and stay current in their field or specialty. Others want to network or enjoy the peer recognition that comes from being an active member of a major organization. Nurses may join a general organization, such as the American Nurses Association, a specialty group, such as the Emergency Nurses Association, or a state nursing association—or one of each. Let's take a look at some of the advantages of joining a professional nursing organization.

* Education: Science and technology change rapidly—and you need to keep up with the changes that affect health care. Like state licensing boards, many specialty certification boards require you to take continuing education (CE) courses to stay up-to-date in your practice. Some of these boards even offer CE activities to members at reduced prices.

* Annual conventions: As a member of a professional organization, you'll get notices announcing major conventions that you may be able to attend at a discount rate. Making professional contacts is a big draw at these conventions, where you'll meet other nurses in your specialty.

* Networking: As a member of a professional association, you'll have plenty of other networking opportunities besides connecting with other health care professionals at national, state, or local conventions. For example, you'll probably have access to online chats or forums at your associations' Web site. Not only can you network with your peers and other professionals, but you can also hear how others are handling some of the same issues you face.

* Certification: Many professional organizations offer certification. Becoming certified demonstrates your commitment to excellence in your practice.

* Targeted products and resources: When you join a professional organization, you may get discounts to obtain online CE, newsletters, certification review materials, and much more. Some nursing organizations offer members discounts on auto, life, and professional liability insurance and feature special credit card offers. Many nursing organizations offer members an official journal that may contain peer-reviewed clinical articles and research relevant to the specialty.

* Career assistance: When you're searching for a new job, look to your association's career center for openings, advice, and opportunities. In fact, keep an eye on that information periodically, whether you're job searching or not, to stay in touch with the latest trends in your specialty. Review job openings for salaries and benefits so you know current earning potentials.

* Web sites: Practically all nursing associations have Web sites you can explore. Typically, they offer general information about the association that anyone can access, as well as member-only areas with restricted access.
With so many rewards awaiting you as a member of a professional nursing organization, what are you waiting for? Join one now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Are you ready to start your career in the rising industry of managed care?

Managed care can trace its roots back to the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, and some say even further back to the turn of the 20th century when some of the first public health movements began. Managed care organizations (MCOs) experienced a boom in growth from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, while traditional indemnity insurance dropped considerably. MCOs are still on the rise, leading the way in merger activity this year, according to a report by a Connecticut health care research firm. MCOs are gaining greater control over the health care populations they manage through business mergers and buying companies that can enhance their service offerings. 

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015(MACRA), effectively sentencing Fee-for-Service (FFS) to death. The Secretary of Health and Human Services intends to make sure that “the same new alternative payment models and payment reforms are broadly adopted by a critical mass of payers”, effectively transitioning the entire country into managed care. 

With health care shifting towards the managed care industry, it's time for your nursing education and career direction to follow the same path. Care Management is a lucrative career that has the potential for growth into higher, executive positions. Salary outlooks can look like this in their median range (salary.com):

Many of the Care Management jobs out there require nurses to have or to acquire a Certification in Managed Care Nursing (CMCN). A Managed Care Nurse Manager or Director in a metropolitan area like New York City can expect a salary upwards of $100,000 annually. Listed below are some managed care positions available today:

RN Care Advisor

Registered Nurse (RN) - Utilization Management (UM) Nurse Consultant

Case Manager II

Patient Care Coordinator

Population Health Manager

Population Health Specialist

Nurses can get their CMCN certification through an exam administered by the American Board of Managed Care Nursing (ABMCN.org). ABMCN has reading materials for reference posted, or candidates can visit the American Association of Managed Care Nurse’s website (AAMCN.org) where they offer a preparatory Home Study Course that encompasses the required knowledge that must be obtained to pass the exam. Once the certification is acquired, nurses may use the initials “CMCN” (Certified Managed Care Nurse) as a part of their professional signature and can apply for job positions requiring this or that are in relation to care/case management. This certification requires 25 continuing education credits every three years.

Don't fall behind in managed care advances, earn your CMCN.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Nurses Week 2015

American Association of Managed Care Nurses

“Educating Nurses in All Aspects of Managed Care”

May 6th-12th, 2015
This years theme: "Ethical Practice. Quality Care."

A short history: Nurses week celebrates the legacy of Florence Nightingale, a nurse who became famous for treating wounded soldiers during the Crimean war, and for her work in establishing nursing as a profession in its own right. Her birthday is May 12th. Florence was known as 'The Lady With The Lamp'. She made a lot of her ward rounds at night while carrying a lamp. Florence Nightingale founded a nursing school in 1860, providing the first type of professional nursing establishment in the world.
Tell your colleagues to like us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and keep an eye out for specials on our social media pages during National Nurses Week.
Also during Nurses Week, check out a screening of the film The American Nurse. Ten percent of all proceeds will go to help local efforts to advance nursing. You can find select local theaters showing this film HERE.
Hungry for more specials? Stop in at a participating Cinnabon and show your Nurses ID badge during National Nurses Week. You're in for a free treat!