Case Management Nurse Certification

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The Registered Nurse Case Manager credential (RN-BC) is managed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which was founded in 1991 as an offshoot of the American Nurses Association (ANA). The Registered Nurse Case Management examination is one of 25 certification examinations offered by the ANCC.[1] Individuals who meet all requirements and pass the examination are awarded the title Registered Nurse - Board Certified (RN-BC) and may more specifically be called Registered Nurse Case Managers.[2][3]

The Registered Nurse Case Management examination is regularly revised to reflect the state of the art in the field of case management. The ANCC regularly conducts role delineation studies in which it interviews practicing RN-BCs in the field of case management to identify the critical knowledge and skills required by entry-level Registered Nurse Case Managers. The results of these role delineation studies inform revisions to the examination's content outline, which in turn dictates the material covered by the exam and the questions asked. The most recent role delineation study was conducted in 2013 and published in 2014.[4] The most recent revision to the exam content outline went into effect on February 6, 2015.[5]

Function of the Test

Case Management Nurse Study Guide

Candidates who pass the Informatics Nursing examination are awarded the RN-BC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) credential from the ANCC.[2] In order to take the examination, candidates must already hold an RN license; they must have practiced the equivalent of two years full-time as a registered nurse; and they must meet minimum hour requirements in clinical practice and continuing education in nursing case management in the prior three years.[6]

In 2013, 206 people took the Nursing Case Management examination, of whom 129 (62.6%) passed. As of 2013, there were 1,488 Registered Nurse Case Managers certified through the ANCC.[7]

Test Administration

Case Management Nurse Flashcards

The Registered Nurse Case Management examination is a computer-based test offered at Prometric testing centers. The exam is offered year-round. Candidates have 3.5 hours to complete the examination.[2]

The full cost to take the NE-BC exam is $395 for candidates who are not members of the ANA, while members of the ANA pay as low as $270 depending on available discounts.[2]

Unsuccessful candidates receive a diagnostic score report informing them whether they achieved "low," "medium," or "high" performance in each of the test content areas.[8] Candidates who wish to retake the exam must wait at least 60 days from the testing date before testing again and may only test three times in a 12-month period. Candidates must submit a retest application and meet eligibility requirements, including any requirements that may have changed or been added since their last application to take the exam.[8]

Candidates who require special accommodations for a disability must notify the ANCC directly by sending a healthcare professional's report which addresses several points, including the specific diagnosis, relevant medical history, date of most current evaluation, and the specific accommodations required. Candidates are encouraged to make the request as early as possible because the ANCC requires time to review the request and may need to ask for additional information.[8]

Test Format

Sections of the CMN Test
CMN Test Subject Areas # of Questions Percent
Fundamentals 40 26.9%
Resource Management 28 18.4%
Quality Management 21 13.9%
Legal and Ethics 33 22.2%
Education and Health Promotion 28 18.5%
Total 150 100%

Test Structure

The Case Management Nurse exam contains 150 questions that have to do with five main categories: Fundamentals; Resource Management; Quality Management; Legal and Ethics; and Education and Health Promotion. There are also an additional 25 unscored, pretest questions. The test is a computer-based exam.[9]

Test Environment

Testing for the Case Management Nurse exam takes place at Prometric Test Centers. There, candidates are expected to arrive at least fifteen minutes early in order to check in on time. A government issued identification containing a photo and signature are required for admission. Personal items are not allowed into the testing room, and a locker will be provided to store bags, wallets, books, keys, notes, and any other items on hand. Scratch paper and pencils will be provided by the testing center.[10]

Sample Questions


The Registered Nurse Case Management examination contains 150 scored questions and 25 unscored, unmarked pretest questions which are being assessed for inclusion on future versions of the exam. The examination's content is distributed as follows:

Distribution of questions on the Registered Nurse
Case Management exam[5]
Category Domains of Practice # of items  % of items
I Fundamentals 40 26.9%
II Resource Management 28 18.4%
III Quality Management 21 13.9%
IV Legal and Ethics 33 22.2%
V Education and Health Promotion 28 18.5%
Total 150 100%

Guessing is not penalized on the exam; an incorrect answer counts the same as an omitted answer.[8] Scales on the Registered Nurse Case Management examination are reported on a scale with a maximum score of 500 and a passing score of 350.[8] (The ANCC does not appear to report what the minimum possible score is, but third parties claim the scale ranges from 100 to 500.[11]) Because the examination is assessed on a scaled score, candidates may need to achieve higher or lower raw scores in order to pass depending on the difficulty of the exam. For example, a candidate who takes an easier version of the exam will need to answer more questions correctly to pass the exam than a candidate who takes a more difficult version of the exam.

In 2013, the pass rate was 62.6%.[7]

Recent Developments

The Registered Nurse Case Management examination was recently revised following the completion of a role delineation study published in 2014. The most recent role delineation study was conducted in 2013 and published in 2014.[4] The examination's revised content outline went into effect on February 6, 2015.[5]


  1. ^ ANCC - ANCC Nursing Case Management Certification March 1 2015
  2. ^ a b c d ANCC - Nursing Case Management March 1 2015
  3. ^ CMSA - Certifications March 1 2015
  4. ^ a b ANCC - 2013 Nursing Case Management Role Delineation Study March 1 2015
  5. ^ a b c ANCC - Nursing Case Management Board Certification Test Content Outline - Effective Date: 2/6/2015 March 1 2015
  6. ^ ANCC - Nursing Case Management Certification Eligibility Criteria March 1 2015
  7. ^ a b ANCC - 2013 ANCC Certification Data March 1 2015
  8. ^ a b c d e ANCC - Certification General Testing and Renewal Handbook March 1 2015
  9. ^ Test Content 08 April 2015
  10. ^ NCM Main Page 08 April 2015
  11. ^ Codina Leik, Maria T. - Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review March 1 2015