RNAC stands for Registered Nurse Assessment Coordinator. RNACs are generally responsible for the coordination of processes related to assessment of patients or residents in a health-care facility. They are also responsible for care planning associated with all patients in the facility. They are typically full-time, salaried positions that require a degree in nursing education as well as additional certification.
In addition to the general assessment and care planning responsibilities, RNACs are responsible for scheduling regular assessments for patients, asking patients to report on how they feel, providing regular reports to doctors and other medical professionals, billing and working with the Medical Decision Support (MDS) system to ensure that all diseases and conditions are treated in the best possible way.
All RNACs are registered nurses. This means that they must complete a registered nursing program. This could be a bachelor’s degree program, an associate degree program or a diploma program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common way for nurses to enter the field is through an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree program, which typically take between two and three years to complete. Those who hope to advance toward an RNAC position should try to complete a bachelor’s degree. To become an RNAC, additional certification from an organization such as the American Association of Nursing Assessment Coordinators is required. RNAC certification programs typically take between one and two years to complete.
RNACs must also have a detailed knowledge of medical decision support systems, Requirements Analysis Planning systems and other care planning software and databases. In the United States, RNACs must have a sound knowledge of levels of care requirements and their relationships to Medicare reimbursement programs. Depending on the type of facility, RNACs may also be required to have previous experience in a particular aspect of nursing. For example, if an RNAC job posting is for a retirement home, the successful candidate may be required to have previous experience in gerontological care.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in the lowest 10 percent income-wise earned less than $43,410 in 2008. Those in the highest 10 percent were paid more than $92,240 per year. The median annual earnings for a registered nurse in 2008 were $62,450. While the bureau does not mention RNACs specifically, RNACs would likely earn near the high end of this spectrum since they have more education and experience than most registered nurses.