Patient Care

University of Rochester School of Nursing Unveils Online Care Management Education Program

Apr. 13, 2018
group of health care professionals

The University of Rochester School of Nursing has launched a new online program designed for nurses or other health care professionals interested in pursuing advanced education in care management.

The Care Management Education program, aimed at addressing the rising demand nationwide for qualified care managers, is one of the first care management education programs in the country run by faculty from a top-tier university and an academic medical center. It is broken down into 10 learning modules produced by expert educators from the UR School of Nursing. Students may take the full program or purchase modules a la carte. The interactive program is 100 percent online, so students can complete the modules at their own pace, at any time, from anywhere in the world.

“We’re proud and excited to be able to offer this program in care management education,” said School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP. “This program is the result of a lot of intensive research and planning by our faculty and staff. We strongly believe it will serve as a critical resource for individuals who are already care managers and seek role-specific continuing education, as well as those health care providers who wish to enter this growing field. In addition, the program offers tremendous benefit to health care organizations, who can be assured that their employees who complete the course have the latest knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s workplace.”

Care management is a relatively new field that specifically focuses on closing quality gaps and promoting continuity in care delivery across health care settings, as well as caring for people living with multiple chronic conditions who are at risk for poor clinical outcomes. However, the role of a care manager tends to be inconsistently defined and operationalized across the nation’s health care delivery system. Few educational programs specifically focus on the tenets of care management, which mirror the Triple Aim initiative promoted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: population health management, improving patients’ experiences of care, and reducing health care costs and inefficiencies.

“It’s really important for care managers to understand the economics and changing landscape of health care. For decades, health care costs have been trending at rates above and beyond what we as a country can afford. And the complexity of our system contributes to fragmented care, which too often leaves patients dissatisfied with the care they receive,” said Daryl Sharp, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor of clinical nursing and senior director of care management for Accountable Health Partners and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“There are common responsibilities most care managers engage in, like care coordination, facilitating smooth care transitions, and working with patients with complex chronic conditions, but there is considerable contextual variation in terms of how these roles have been enacted across the health care system. This program draws from the rich scientific and policy foundation underlying high quality care management to help those new to the field, as well as those who are more experienced, to carry out their roles more effectively and efficiently.”

The program, which provides care managers and potential care managers with evidence-based strategies for applying the critical functions of care management to real-world clinical practice, launched earlier this year after more than a year of research and preparation of the content and testing of the online delivery system.

“This is a course that anyone, anywhere in the world can take, because it’s an online course. But, because it draws on the vibrancy of the University of Rochester experience and the unique insights of experts working in the field, it is full of rich, meaningful content,” said Susan Ciurzynski, PhD, RN-BC, PNP, VCE, professor of clinical nursing and director of the UR School of Nursing’s Center for Lifelong Learning. “We take pride in providing exceptional support for students taking our online classes, especially for users who may be novices to the technology.”

Participating students can purchase individual models a la carte or the full program at a reduced rate. The pricing structure for the program is $75 per module (a la carte) or $495 for the entire program. Discounts are available for employees of the University of Rochester Medical Center and its affiliates. Participants who complete all 10 modules will earn an Advanced Certificate of Completion in Care Management from the University of Rochester and 68 nursing contact hours or social work continuing education hours. Although, care managers are not currently required to be nationally certified to practice, the program provides hours that can be applied toward the continuing education requirements necessary to obtain or maintain national certification from an accrediting body.

“A real benefit of this program is that it was created in collaboration with a diverse interprofessional team and is both open and relevant to all of the members of the care team – nurses, care managers, social workers, community workers, and others – who are essential to our success in managing care in a seamless way,” Sharp said.

“Overall the program was very well done and had a nice variety of educational tools. I feel it touched on all the topics necessary for care managers, old and new, to make sure they are well rounded in their positions,” said Christine Monahan, DC, RN, BSN, ATC, an RN clinical care manager at Strong Internal Medicine, who was one of the first students to complete the program. “It's beneficial to have an educational series from time to time to either bring up new information or topics as health care evolves, or as a refresher for those who have been in the field for many years. We can always take away something new.”

For more information on the program, including full cost breakdowns, visit