Exploring Role Confusion in Nurse Case Management

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

This is a report of the results of a pilot project conducted to identify the areas where role confusion/ambiguity exists in the practice of nurse case management.

Methodology and Sample:

A convenience sample of 25 registered nurses practicing as case managers in a small east coast medical treatment facility's outpatient clinics. Participants responded to 2 Likert-type surveys designed to evaluate role confusion from an individual and a team membership perspective.

Results:

Analysis indicated that nurse case managers experience role confusion in the specific areas of conflicts between time resources, capabilities, and multiple individual roles. There was no identified role confusion associated with membership on multidisciplinary teams. The application of the Synergy Model as a theoretical framework for nurse case management serves as a benchmark for the implementation of evidence-based practices.

Implications for Case Management Practice:

This project could serve as the starting point for the development of a skill set for nurse case managers, for the standardization of the practice, and for the recognition of nurse case management as a legitimate nursing subspecialty.

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