You passed! Whether you are a CCM, a CMGT-BC, an ACM, a CMCN, or any of the other certifications that you choose to achieve as a case management professional, you must know how to maintain your certification.
Here are 14 Tips to Maintain your Case Management Certifications
1. Take time to read all the material that comes with your new certification.
A key piece of information is the date you will renew your certification. Some certifications notify you 1 year ahead of your renewal and give an incentive to renew early. If you don’t take advantage of this, you will pay a higher renewal cost.
2. Know when your certification will expire if you don’t renew.
Some certifications renew every 5 years, and some are every 3 years. Check yours so you are clear on when you must renew.
3. Find out what you need to renew.
Most certification organizations allow you to renew with continuing education credits. Some allow you to use academic credits or give you points for teaching a class, giving presentations, or writing an article in a case management journal. Most organizations give you the choice to renew by retaking the exam. You can decide what is best for you.
4. If you renew by continuing education credits, find out if the credits need to be with a certain organization.
For example, the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) requires you to have credits approved by them. This means that any programs you submit for renewal must carry the CCMC approval and activity codes. If you don’t have these numbers you can have the course reviewed, but there is a cost for that.
Other certifications accept credits from various sources so make sure you know what your specific certification body accepts.
5. Look and be alert for continuing education opportunities.
My advice is to start early so you are not scrambling as your expiration dates gets close. Three, four or five years go by quickly, so you plan your time. That way you are not rushing to get your credits at the last minute.
6. Look for programs that allow you to gather the credits you need but also help you meet your professional goals.
Continuous learning is important to maintain professional competencies.
7. Pay attention to renewal cycles and certification periods.
Your initial certification period will be from the date you became certified till your renewal date. Once you renew and get your renewal certification you start on the next cycle. All credits must be within your specific cycle dates.
8. Determine what the cost to renew your certification is so you can budget for it.
Keep in mind there is a cost to renew your certification as well as a cost for the continuing education credits. Keep this in mind and budget for both.
9. Take advantage of free CE Credits available to you.
Check if your employer offers continuing education as a benefit for working for the company. Some employers will bring speakers into the office for lunch and learns or provide a CE Program for the staff to hear. Try to attend them as you can as they are a free benefit from your company.
Many employers purchase an online subscription that the staff can use to obtain CE Credits such as Athena Forum Institute. Athena Forum is an example of an online continuing education company that specializes in courses for case management professionals. Each of their programs is approved for Nurses, Social Workers, and Certified Case Managers. Employer subscriptions are very reasonable and priced according to the number of users.
Case managers can also obtain CE credits through their professional organization. The Case Management Society of America is a professional organization for case managers and has an educational library available 24/7 via their website for members to access for free as a member benefit. They have courses that are pre-approved for nurses, social workers, and case managers.
10. Determine where you will get additional continuing education credits.
Many case managers ask where they can find continuing education credits. There are so many ways – but choose wisely. You will be investing your time as well as your money so you want to find credits that will allow you to achieve your goals and support your clients.
As mentioned above, Athena Forum Institue specializes in courses for case management professionals. Each of their programs is approved for Nurses, Social Workers, and Certified Case Managers. If your employer does not offer an online subscription with Athena Forum Institute they have individual subscriptions that you can purchase. You can get a discount by clicking on the “Friends of Deanna Gillingham” learn more button on their website.
You can also check CCMC’s website or PACE Pre-Approved continuing education.
11. Be Organized.
Keep a folder of your case management certification renewal information. This will enable to you pace yourself as you look for ways to gather your CEs for renewal.
12. Print off your certificates of completion and keep them in your folder.
This way come renewal time; you will have all your information in one place. Most organizations don’t ask you for the paper certificates but ask you to chart them in various ways on the renewal application. The hard copies are for back up in case you are ever audited. Your hard copy certificate are proof you took the course you noted on your application.
13. Advance your education
Formal education is another direction you can take as part of your professional development. Check the individual certification to see if they accept academic course work as part of the renewal process.
14. Don’t be afraid to ask
If you have questions on the renewal process for the certification(s) you hold, feel free to reach out to the individual certifying body.
They may also offer courses and conferences that offer continuing education credits.
Best of luck as you move forward in your career. Any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I can help point you in the right direction. You can reach me at [email protected]
Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCN) http://www.abmcn.org/Renewal%20Criteria%20and%20App.pdf
American Case Manager (ACM) https://www.acmaweb.org/acm/default.aspx?nav=faq#anchortext9
Certificated Case Manager: (CCM) This is the certification many Aging Life Care specialists choose https://ccmcertification.org/sites/default/files/ccmc-21-cert-guide-renewal-update-7.16.21-d2.pdf
CMGT-BC: Nurse Case Manager: American Nursing Credentialing Center https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/nursing-case-management
Stepping Up to Case Management Certification: An overview of the major case management certification so you can choose the certification that is best for you https://anne-llewellyn.s3.amazonaws.com/2021+Stepping+Up+To+Certification+1209.pdf+final+version.pdf
Anne is a registered nurse with over forty-three years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, and healthcare education including training and development. Anne speaks and writes frequently on topics for consumers, caregivers, and all members of the healthcare team so together we can improve each person’s healthcare experience. Follow her in her weekly Blog, Nurses Advocate where she shares stories and events that will help people be better prepared when they enter the healthcare system. https://nursesadvocates.com. You can reach Anne via email at firstname.lastname@example.org