What Is the Function of a Nurse Care Coordinator?
A nurse care coordinator is a registered nurse who specializes in organizing patient care and treatments by involving all care team members. They typically target individuals who have a specific diagnosis, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart failure. Treatment coordination helps avoid fragmented care and enables patients to transfer effortlessly from one area of care to another. Patients require someone to assist them in navigating the complex world of healthcare today. Nurse care coordinators assist in the following ways:
- Enhance the quality of patient care
- Enhancing access to care
- Reduce the cost of healthcare
- Prevent readmissions to hospitals
- Contribute to care continuity
Acquiring the Skills Required to Become a Nurse Care Coordinator
Nurse care coordinators are often registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree who have several years of clinical care experience. Although nursing school does not include formal coursework in care coordination, nurses do undertake some amount of care coordination during their shift (for example, contacting nutrition services for dietary needs). Nurse care coordinators are more specialized and place a greater emphasis on developing an individualized plan for each patient.
What Educational Requirements Are There?
Typically, nurse care coordinators obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Naturally, each workplace has unique needs – some may even prefer candidates with a master’s degree in nursing. Additionally, several years of experience working in a clinical care setting may be required.
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
While certification in Care Coordination and Transition Management is not necessary for employment, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AACN) does offer it. The course covers nine dimensions of care coordination and includes discussions on the following topics:
- Advocacy for patients
- Education and engagement of patients and their families
- Counseling and coaching
- Care planning that is centered on the patient
- The nursing procedure
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Management of population health
- Informatics in nursing
What Types of Jobs Do Nurse Care Coordinators Have?
Nurse care coordinators are employed in a variety of healthcare settings. They may work in emergency rooms, inpatient units, ambulatory care settings, or specialty units. Additionally, they may work in long-term care institutions or home health. Essentially, care coordinators are required whenever patients require aid navigating the healthcare system.
What Is the Role of a Nurse Care Coordinator?
In certain ways, nurse care coordinators serve as patient representatives. Patients have extremely unique demands based on their health status and diagnosis. Nurse care coordinators assist patients in obtaining and utilizing healthcare services that meet their specific requirements. For instance, a patient hospitalized with congestive heart failure may require nutritional education, home monitoring via cardiology or telemedicine, and physical therapist activity/exercise coaching. The nurse care coordinator assists by cooperating with other members of the healthcare team to achieve the best possible outcomes.
What Are the Responsibilities and Responsibilities of the Nurse Care Coordinator?
A nurse care coordinator’s precise functions and responsibilities may include the following:
- Patient and family education
- Developing care plans that entail the participation of the entire disciplinary team
- Surveillance of patients to ascertain their progress
- Assessing progress
- Maintaining the highest standards of quality, safety, and patient privacy
- Assisting the interdisciplinary team by acting as a liaison
Salary and Employment Information for Nurse Care Coordinators
Compensation for nursing care coordinators varies significantly. Salary is determined by the state, city, and organization where one works. According to salary.guide, the average annual base salary for registered nurses care coordinators is $76,710. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that California, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Oregon are among the highest paying states for registered nurses.
Although the BLS does not have precise data on RN care coordinators, they forecast a 15% increase in demand for nurses through 2026. According to experts, the growth in demand is due to an aging population, new healthcare legislation, and growing demand for healthcare services. Additionally, healthcare organizations are constantly looking for ways to cut expenses, which is why RN care coordinators are so valuable.