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How to Become Certified as an RN Case Manager

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If you are already a licensed and active registered nurse, you may be considering specializing and becoming a certified case manager. Earning this certificate means that you have shown particular knowledge, skill and experience in your field, and allows you to expand your employment opportunities. You will be entrusted to coordinate care for those patients with catastrophic injuries and chronic illnesses by monitoring treatments and responses. Moreover, it will be your responsibility to make sure they receive what they need in the least restrictive setting at the most appropriate time through the more cost-effective use of health services.

Create a study plan. You can do so either by yourself or with a friend, or find a study group through one of the sites listed below. Help yourself by downloading practice exams and review material from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Begin your work six months in advance of the test date.

Apply for the RN case manager examination through the ANCC. The center will provide you with an eligibility certificate that you will receive within eight weeks.

Find a test center near your area where you can take the exam through Register to take the exam. After you register, you are given 90 days to take the exam. If you are not able to take the exam within 90 days, you will have to register again.

Read through all of the instructions concerning the identification you must bring, as well as the requirements for test day. You can get this information in the ANCC Certification Examinations Handbook. This material will also tell you what to do if you require special facilities or have an emergency that prevents you from taking the test at its scheduled time or place.

Get plenty of sleep the night before, and eat a decent breakfast. You will not be allowed to bring any food or drink into the testing facility.

Take the computer-based exam. Scattered throughout the ANCC certification examinations are 25 pilot or unscored questions. These questions will appear the same as scored questions, so you must answer all the questions. Your final score will only reflect your answers on the scored questions.


You will be more successful if you have a clinical background, which allows you to deal with both the medical and psychosocial issues that accompany illness and injuries. In order to speak effectively with others in your field--and your patients and their families--you must have good oral and written communication skills.


The Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), formerly the ABNS Accreditation Council, is the only accrediting body designed specifically for nursing certification.