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UC College of Nursing launches case management certificate program

Program will certify health care professionals in a fast-growing field

To meet the needs of a growing workforce of case managers, the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing is launching a case management certificate program. The first of the four separate seven-week online courses will start with the fall semester in August 2019.

“This certificate program is geared toward individuals who want to be case managers and don’t have the experience,” says Joan Sevy Majers, DNP, assistant professor in the College of Nursing who developed the program. “It’s a very fascinating and rewarding practice. It’s different, and allows the practitioner to establish relationships with patients/clients over time and assist them in meeting their health care needs."

Enrollment in the program requires a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. While most case managers are nurses, Majers says many others are social workers and disability workers at this time. Other members of the interdisciplinary team that may be interested in supplementing their practice with a case management certificate might be respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists. She says the position has grown in importance as the health care system has evolved over the past few years and created the need to assist patients through it.

“The hospital is not at the center of this universe anymore, the patient/client and the family are, and what they need is someone to help them negotiate the process.” says Majers. “There are navigators who help move the patient through the system, but the case manager has a more comprehensive role. The case manager moves the patient/client through the system with very specific goals: the right care at the right place at the right time and at the right price. That’s the role of the case manager.”

The launch of the case management program is an example of UC’s commitment to urban health, as outlined in its strategic direction, Next Lives Here.

Kelly Besl and Ann Florian, working as case managers at UC Medical Center

Ann Florian, a 1976 graduate of the College of Nursing, is a case manager at UC Medical Center where she has worked for 14 years. She says the case management position there dates back only four years.

“We’re all living longer, we have more comorbidities, so when patients are discharged they have a lot of needs,” she says. “Case management is not going away and we’re busy. It really helps with patient flow and I really like it.”

She was excited to learn of the College of Nursing case management certificate program and thinks it meets a need.

“After working as a nurse for a lot of years, I’ve learned a lot of things and case management is really a good fit for a nurse who has been practicing for a long time,” Florian says. 

Majers says experienced nurses are a good fit for the case manager role, but points out that there are many settings in which case managers function—managed care, occupational health, hospice and mental health. Social workers can bring special skillsets to some of these settings as well and serve as case managers.

Before coming to UC in 2016, Majers was a commissioner on the Commission for Case Management Certification, a national organization that certifies more case managers than all the other certifying groups put together. While Majers served on the commission, there were discussions about partnering with an academic institution that would be interested in creating a program to prepare individuals to be case managers.

Once she arrived at UC, Majers presented the idea to Greer Glazer, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing, and got her support. Following the launch of the introductory course this fall, the other three course will be launched in 2020 and can be taken after completion of the introductory course.

“One of the things I would hope we could interest some of our graduates in when they finish their baccalaureate is coming back for their case management certificate,” Majers says. “It could also attract some of our students who are in the master’s program and may be just interested in some of the course work. Or, they may even be interested in the certificate program to come out with a master’s as a nurse practitioner who also wants to be a case manager. There are a lot of possibilities with this.”  

For more information about the case management certificate program, contact Majers at

Featured image at top: Ann Florian, case manager at UC Medical Center. Photo: Colleen Kelley/UC Creative Services