A nurse care coordinator is a registered nurse who organizes treatment plans between the patient and medical team. The primary groups of patients they work with have specific diagnoses that require treatment either inside or outside of the hospital. Each department needs a nurse care coordinator as they’re the primary communicator for interdisciplinary teams.
Therefore, some roles are considered as nursing specialties depending on the department – ER, OR, ICU and more. Understanding the nuances and anticipated treatment plans for specific diagnoses is critical for inpatient success.
Once a patient is discharged, the nurse care coordinator follows up with the patient to discuss treatment pathways and points of contact. Prior to being discharged, the nurse care coordinator will ensure team members are aligned on patient goals once outpatient treatment begins. Care coordinators can specialize in specific conditions while exploring registered nurse jobs, but what are the specific roles and responsibilities?
What are the roles of a Nurse Care Coordinator?
As the primary mediator, nurse care coordinators work with patients to help them understand their current condition and treatment pathway. While monitoring vitals and charts, care coordinators collaborate with the appropriate medical teams who will continue treatment for the patient. Essentially, nurse care coordinators will plan for all steps required, especially when the patient transitions from in-patient to out-patient care.
Depending on which department they work in, there will be certain requirements in order to become a specialized care coordinator. With experience in emergency care, perioperative care, clinical work and more, they’re able to develop individualized plans for specific types of patients. Though the job responsibilities will be the same, focusing on a nursing specialty will be beneficial in understanding the nuances of that department.
What are the Requirements to be a Nurse Care Coordinator?
Nurse Care Coordinators require the same degree and certifications as an RN since it’s a registered nursing job. They must have a Bachelor degree in nursing and a state license. Certain positions may require a Master degree in nursing as well.
Care coordination is not a major teaching pillar in nursing programs. RNs can gain deep knowledge after graduation by taking the Care Coordination and Transition Management Certification Course offered by the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. The program covers useful topics such as: patient advocacy, family education and engagement, nursing informatics, population health management and much more. In short, a nurse care coordinator needs to have:
- ADN or BSN in Nursing
- Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
- Active state license as a registered nurse
- Current BLS/CPR and ACLS certification
- CCTM Certification, if needed
Desirable qualities of a surgical nurse are:
- Friendly and compassionate to nurture the patient-healthcare provider relationship based on mutual trust.
- Attention to patient’s vitals and charts to develop individualized care plan.
- Excellent communication skills to effectively coordinate care between patient and medical teams.
- Detail-oriented to ensure all steps in the care plan can be executed by the patient on their own.
- Patient when discussing care plans to patients and family members.
- High emotional intelligence to create a positive patient care experience that includes simplifying medical terminology and concepts to the patient.
What are the Nurse Care Coordinators Responsibilities?
So, what are the specific responsibilities that make this nursing specialty different? A nurse care coordinator typically:
- Transitions with the ED Care Coordinator and Transfer Coordinator for patients admitted to inpatient/observation level of care.
- Performs a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s clinical, psychosocial, discharge planning and financial needs. Establishes clinical milestones and goals related to these issues.
- Establishes rapport and a relationship with the patient and family in order to understand their needs and expectations and to assist them in setting realistic and mutual goals. Integrate an awareness of cultural factors in the patient/family interview process and elicit clinically relevant cultural information.
- In conjunction with the physician, the patient and interdisciplinary team, establishes a comprehensive plan of care to appropriately address clinical milestones.
- Communicates plan of care, including changes and issues related to plan of care to patient/family, physicians and other members of the healthcare team. Facilitates communication between the physician, interdisciplinary team, patient and family.
- Gathers sufficient information from all relevant sources to determine the effectiveness of the plan of care to assure it is done in an accurate, safe, timely and cost effective manner.
- Organizes, integrates and evaluates the effectiveness of the plan of care and progress toward achievement of desired outcomes.
- Coordinates patient transfer to the appropriate level of care. Identifies and facilitates resolution of clinical and operational roadblocks to achieve optimal outcomes by identifying alternatives as needed.
- Documents all care management assessments and interventions. Inserts most current discharge planning documentation into medical records.
- Rounds regularly with physicians to establish a plan of care, and to ensure that care is proceeding in an efficient and effective manner. Follow up to ensure that tests and treatments are proceeding efficiently, and that results are available to physicians on a timely basis.
- Ensures that the care plan is updated as appropriate, through clinical progression of the patient toward clinical milestones updating the team and patient and family accordingly.
- Closely monitors the progression of care for the observation patient, and ensures appropriate utilization of resources and efficient throughput for this patient population.
- Refers to Social Worker or Discharge Planner for complex psychosocial and discharge planning issues (per criteria) and ensures appropriate follow-up. Consults with other members of the interdisciplinary team (physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.) to provide safe discharge as appropriate.
Why Should I be a Nurse Care Coordinator?
Registered Nursing Jobs vary from job responsibility and duties, but the outcomes are similar. Nurse care coordinators play an active role that completely transforms their patients’ lives. You’re able to develop deep connections with patients and support them through their recovery. Many RNs find this position to be rewarding and fulfilling when a patient feels confident about their treatment after discharge. As an integral point of contact for interdisciplinary teams, you’ll foster communication and collaboration that presents opportunities to deepen your knowledge about specialty areas.
Where are the Registered Nursing Jobs Near Me?
Eisenhower Health offers many nursing career opportunities at our word-class facility. Nurses gain access to our resources and mentors who will help you deliver outstanding patient care and deepen your knowledge. Whether you’re a newly graduated Nursing student or an experienced RN, you will find a position that matches your interests and skill sets at our medical center. Apply for our available registered nursing jobs and get started on your rewarding career!
Originally posted on 14/6/2021