What type of certification should an RN case manager obtain?

By | 2021-05-28T17:40:27-04:00 March 27th, 2015|6 Comments

Dear Donna,

I am a RN case manager. I am ready for certification, but I am confused as there are many different certifications available. I am most interested in CCM certification versus board certified. It appears some people have both and others have one or the other.  What should I do?

Confused About Case Management Certification

Dear Confused About Case Management Certification,

I can understand your confusion with all the case management certifications available. Many of them are specific to a sub-specialty such as worker’s compensation or disability management. Adding to the confusion is that more than one entity offers certification. You can get dizzy just sorting through them.

The certified case manager credential is probably the most common and widely recognized in the industry because it is applicable to multiple practice settings and has been around longer than other certifications. Board certification in case management, or RN-BC, is a similar credential offered by another accreditation entity. One is not better than the other. An RN-BC is only for RNs. A CCM is open to anyone who qualifies, including non-nurses. That’s probably why some nurses opt to get both, but it is not generally necessary.

Some nurses like to collect certifications even though they don’t need them all. So don’t let others’ multiple credentials or the fact so many options exist throw you. Get your CCM or RN-BC for now. Either will serve you well.

Best wishes,



Prepare for the Case Management (CCM/RN-BC) exam with the Case Management Certification Review Course.

Nurse.com offers fully online self-paced online or interactive online prep course options.


Nurse.com Job Seeker

Discover how Nurse.com can help you find your next dream job.
Just sign up and wait to be paired with your perfect match.

About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of DonnaCardillo.com. Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.


  1. Avatar
    Glenda October 25, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply


    I’m BC. But for Med/Surg. Through ANCC you can become Board Certified in many areas. I’m also a CCM. I don’t believe an LVN can become a CCM, but a SW can.

    Now a good certification to have is CMCN. Why? Because this deal with managed care and that’s where we are now, more than ever. You learn just about everything for the most part that deal with the Healthcare Industry. It doesn’t matter if you work for the hospital, insurance company, IPA, you gain a broader prospective of how it all comes together.

  2. Avatar
    Laura Johnson January 12, 2018 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Can you recommend where to get my CCM online and the study guides available to help me take it successfully? Do states even give the exam in person? Does the online version reward the nurse with a true certification? Thank you in advance for your guidance.

  3. Avatar
    Laura Johnson January 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Please advise as it is confusing sorting out all the various sites and offers

  4. Avatar
    Glenda August 23, 2019 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I agree with some of the responder. For all RN CM, I recommend both CCM and CMCN. Why? The CCM covers a broad base, which enables you to work anywhere. The CMCN covers the insurance side, which is imperative to know. Yes anyone who is a SW or has a bachelor’s in healthcare administration can sit for the CCM. With the CMCN they know that thousands of LVNs are case managers and LVN can become a CMCN, which I encouraged for both LVN and RN.

  5. Avatar
    Emma Jane Salubayba July 22, 2020 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Im an RN and no experience with case management though I worked as MDS before in a skilled nursing facility if it counts. I work now in the hospital as endoscopy nurse and so interested in applying to become case manager. Any suggested certification I need to take so I can at least be potential to be hired as beginner case management position.

  6. Avatar
    Mark Sagucio July 27, 2020 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Where does ACMA stand in this? My hospital encourages to take this vs CCM due to it encompassing the inpatient case management scope. I just passed it this past week. Did I make the right decision?

Leave A Comment