If you’ve been a nurse assessment coordinator for some time now, you may be asking yourself, “Am I ready to take the RAC-CT certification?” To help answer that question, the experts at the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN) put together a list of questions for you to evaluate your level of knowledge and readiness.
1. How long have you been a nurse assessment coordinator?
AAPACN recommends that you have at least six months of experience as a nurse assessment coordinator before taking the RAC-CT certification. If you have less than six months of experience, consider taking MDS Essentials to gain foundational knowledge first.
2. How long have you worked in post-acute care?
AAPACN recommends that you have between six months to two years of full-time post-acute care experience before taking the RAC-CT certification.
3. Do you feel ready for an in-depth continuing education program that will challenge you to look at the following knowledge domains of the NAC role?
- MDS 3.0 Coding for OBRA and PPS
- Accurately Assessing Functional Status
- Care Area Assessments
- Care Planning
- OBRA Timing and Scheduling
- Managing the Patient-Driven Payment Model in a SNF
- Introduction to Medicare Part A
- Quality Measures
- The Five-Star Quality Rating System
4. Are you looking to grow and develop professionally and prove you have what it takes to be a NAC?
By taking the RAC-CT certification, you will not only challenge yourself, but you will demonstrate to others that you have knowledge and skills to manage clinical assessment and care planning, completion of the MDS, and the regulatory body surrounding the RAI/MDS process.
Do you think you are ready to start your RAC-CT Certification? Make sure to also read, “5 Tips for Surviving Your RAC-CT Certification.”
Unsure about the value of certification? Review the following resources:
- 2021 AAPACN annual report includes data from the July 2021 ABILTY Network report that concluded that Facilities with AAPACN-certified staff have higher Five-Star ratings
- “Why Should I Earn a Nursing Certification?” – This blog highlights the benefits of a nursing certification and why you should consider this continuing education endeavor.
- “Why Should I Become a Certified Nurse Assessment Coordinator?” – This blog covers the benefits of becoming a certified NAC.
Additional Resources for a New NAC:
- New NAC: Five Tips for Successful Orientation
- The First Month as a New NAC
- How to Take a Vacation When You’re the NAC
- MDS Essentials
- Medicare Fundamentals
- PDPM Solutions
- Care Area Assessment (CAA) Training for the IDT
- Learning Timeline for AAPACN Education and Resources