What kind of education do I need to be a nurse auditor or a medical coder?

By | 2022-02-14T18:02:35-05:00 August 8th, 2011|1 Comment


Dear Donna,

I’m an RN with an associate degree and 36 years of floor experience. I’ve been looking at different options for changing positions, and am interested in becoming a nurse auditor or medical coder. What are the educational requirements for these positions?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Caroline,

To become a medical coder, you need to learn how to code. Some nurses have learned on the job at hospitals, medical offices or insurance companies. Otherwise, you may need to take some coding courses on your own. These are offered by adult education programs, private education companies and professional associations.

The term “nurse auditor” is general and is used in various settings where no past experience or training is necessarily needed. In this role, you might work for an insurance company, your state quality improvement organization or a county or state entity that oversees healthcare, insurance practices and more. If you will be auditing coding practices, then you would need coding knowledge.

Before signing up for anything (these courses can be costly), do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with other nurse coders and auditors to be sure this is for you. Find them by asking around, by searching online and through the AAPC (www.aapc.com) or the American Association of Clinical Coders and Auditors (www.aacca.net). Attend local chapter meetings of these and other related associations as a guest.

Best wishes,


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One Comment

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    Michele Stephens February 23, 2021 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Hello, I’m a medical coder with over 20 years experience. I want to advance my career as a nurse auditor. What is the minimum degree needed to obtain?

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