Why I Chose the CCMC Certification

Posted by Linda Violas, BSN, RN, CCM on 08/30/2017 - 9:57 AM

Many moons ago I was returning from a maternity leave after the birth of my third child. I was ready for a career change and decided it was time to move from bedside nursing to Case Management at my hospital of record. I know I am not alone with the endeavor of reinventing myself as many nurses do during their careers. I had 15+ years in ICU and ER bedside nursing. In order to make a move, I knew I had to find an organization that would help me learn the ropes and continue my education as I practiced and developed.

I did an internet search and quickly found CCMC. The CCMC website was helpful, it listed resources to study and I found that they had a certification exam. Experience from my clinical life taught me to pursue certification in my field of expertise, and join the professional organization associated with the certification for networking and professional development.

I liked the CCMC content as it covered the entire health care continuum along with worker’s compensation. I was working at a community hospital and my role was a Community Care Manager for the at risk HMO patients who entered the hospital system with discharge planning into the community. We had acute care, acute rehabilitation and a skilled facility within our hospital walls. I could not afford a review class so I self-studied. I found great resources and even a practice exam. I was new to my role and I did not have a supervisor who was a CCM so I had to write a case study to show that my job description entitled me to take the certification exam.

The exam was tough but I passed and was so proud of my accomplishment. I even liked the fact that CEUs were required in different areas of focus and that it was over the course of 5 years. Since becoming certified, I have attended great local and national CMSA conferences. The attendees and presenters are of high caliber and have allowed me to network and recruit qualified professionals.

As the next step in my career, I went into management and encouraged my care management staff to become certified. Because I was certified I could sponsor the staff as they committed to the certification. Our culture began to change for the better. When a CM went to a seminar in order to maintain their CCM units, I would ask the staff member to provide a summary of lessons learned so that soon everyone was contributing and learning.

In our health system, my staff are paid a stipend to be certified in the relevant field for their area of practice. All of our system hospitals have become magnet certified. Certification and Master’s degrees are both noted as validating professional standards and practice. I was lucky to find CCMC and would recommend this organization and certification to other CMs without hesitation. Not only is it the professional thing to do, but the CCM behind my name shows I have invested to be an expert in my field which is something my colleagues and employers have noticed.  

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