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Nurse Life Care Planner


In this specialized subset of case management, Nurse Life Care Planners create healthcare roadmaps. These nurses help patients who have suffered catastrophic injuries and illnesses, advocate for them, and plan out their care. Nurse Life Care Planners work with a patient's family, insurance company, attorneys, and others to develop a life care plan, determining the future needs, services, and costs of care for the patient over their lifetime. Many Nurse Life Care Planners work independently from the hospital system, acting as a consultant for businesses, families, or courts of law. Because of life care plans, patients’ caregivers know how often they need to schedule appointments, what to expect in terms of rehabilitation, and what the course of medical care will look like.

Things You'll Do:

  • Design life care plans for patients
  • Advocate for your patients, who often cannot express their own needs
  • Teach your patients’ families about the illness and treatment

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Patient-facing
  • Managerial
  • Research-oriented
  • Independent

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • Work as a Registered Nurse, getting two years of experience in life care planning and taking continuing education courses in the field.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • Pass Your
    Certified Nurse Life Care Planner® Examination (CNLCP)
  • Become a
    Certified Nurse Life Care Planner

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Independent consultant
    • Hospitals
    • Managed care organizations

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  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • This fairly new specialty has become one of the most effective case management tools in nursing.
    • While not all life care planners are nurses, you’ll be uniquely qualified because you’ll be trained to help your patients psychologically and physically.

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