Networking in Nursing and Career DevelopmentThe first professional nursing association in the

Networking in Nursing and Career DevelopmentThe first professional nursing association in the United States was founded in 1893 as the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses. Today this organization is known as the National League for Nursing. Today the largest nursing organization is the American Association of Nursing. There are over 100 professional nursing organizations today with the goal of advocating on behalf of their members (Halstead, 2016, p. 108). Nursing organizations are able to have influence over health care policies, keep nurse updated on the everchanging landscape of health care and help with networking and connecting peers. My area of nursing specialty is Utilization Management (UM), there is not a professional organization established solely for this specialty. There is an accreditation association for Utilization Management known as the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), their role is improving health care quality, primarily for health care organizations, policy makers, doctors and patients (National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), 2019).The nursing association my specialty most closely identifies with is the American Case Management Association (ACMA). The mission of ACMA is “To be THE Association for Health Care Delivery System Case Management and Transitions of Care (TOC) Professionals” (https://www.acmaweb.org). ACMA has a goal to have provide professional development services to care managers that includes mentoring, education and resource information (https://www.acmaweb.org). ACMA defines care management as a collaborative practice model to include patients, nurses, social workers, physicians and other practitioners, caregivers and the community. Appropriate utilization management has an important role in care management (https://www.acmaweb.org). Being a member of ACMA comes with many benefits, one very important one is free continuing education classes and receiving up to date information on health care policy. The ACMA conferences offer excellent opportunity for networking for care managers from across the country. ACMA members have said that they continue membership in the organization to advance their careers (https://www.acmaweb.org).ACMA offers a program to their members called Learning Link where members connect online to post discussion questions that members can weigh in on and learn from each other. I have benefitted from this online discussion in areas related to UM where physicians who specialize in this area have shared their experiences, most recently withMedicare rules and regulations related to total joint procedures. Networking in case management and utilization management is beneficial as we don’t have the typical evidence-based practice models that bedside nursing does. Care management works with patients along the continuum of care with the goal of managing their health conditions effectively as possible. Working in the care management department as the lead UR nurse for many years, there are not two of the same patient situations that I have ever seen. This takes a nurse or social worker who can access all the resources available to meet the patient needs. In my observations care managers who are active members in ACMA, tend to be more experienced in working with patients in difficult situations, I see this as a direct result of the education opportunities offered by ACMA. ACMA is able to keep its members up to date on health care issues with its informative website. ACMA currently involved in legislation that is long overdue. S.753 Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2019. As an UR nurse I’m very familiar with the Medicare rule that does not allow a Medicare recipient to be eligible for skilled nursing facility admission if they have not had a three midnight stay in an acute care hospital. Patients who are admitted to observation status does not qualify to use their skilled nursing facility benefit. It has been long thought in the care management and UR communities that this is unfair to the Medicare recipient. The rule has been in effect since the beginning of Medicare (1965). Hospital length of stays have decreased dramatically since 1965 and this 3-midnight rule is out dated. ACMA currently has a page on its website for members to sign a petition to close the gap in Medicare observation coverage. Being a member of ACMA affords you free continuing education opportunities through them website, as well as ACMA has a quarterly publication called Collaborative Case Management with articles that focus on solutions to current issues. ACMA is also involved in research for benchmarking for hospital case managers (https://www.acmaweb.org). Transitions of Care isparamount in hospital case management, transferring from one level of care to another. ACMA collaboration with different organizations help influence navigation of our health care system toestablish Transition of Care standards. Having not joined a professional nursing organization in the past, researching for this paper has opened my eyes to what I have been missing out on. The ability to network and be kept up to date on new legislation that affect health care is of interest to me and will only improve my knowledge and how I perform my job.

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