MDS Coordinator Certifications and Classes

MDS stands for minimum data set; an MDS coordinator is usually a nurse who audits patients' records to be sure that they meet federal guidelines for patient care. Read more about the responsibilities of MDS coordinators. Find out what training you'd need to enter this career field, and explore related degree programs in nursing. Check the requirements for certification. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As an MDS coordinator, you will oversee the regular collection of data on patients in any facility that accepts Medicare and Medicaid, including nursing homes or long-term care facilities. While there aren't any specific degrees related specifically to MDS certification, training programs are available at technical and community colleges for nurses who want to understand this subject better. Certification is available through the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination.

Degrees Bachelor degree in nursing and health information
Classes Training programs cover quality measures, common acronyms, key RAI concepts, data collection
Certification Administered by the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination

What Kind of Training Do I Need?

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provide online training tools. The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) offers a 10-week training course that offers nurses instruction on learning the MDS process. You may also find MDS continuing education courses offered at technical or community colleges.

What Kind of Degree Will Prepare Me for This Position?

Although there is no degree program designed specifically for MDS coordination, most MDS coordinators have a degree in nursing. Due to the electronic assessment of patient records and the use of technology in quality control, coursework from a nursing informatics degree could be applied to the MDS coordinator role. You can find degree programs in nursing informatics that will give you both the nursing background and the technology training to apply to this position.

Many nursing informatics programs are at the graduate level and require a bachelor's degree in nursing, health information technology or a similar field to enroll. Within your coursework, you will learn skills that provide a foundation for MDS coordination, including:

  • How to use technology in the management of patient records
  • Quality control
  • Analysis of electronic patient records

What Is The Certification Process?

You can become certified by the AANAC. This organization offers certification in MDS 3.0, which is the updated version of MDS released on April 1st, 2012. If you choose to become certified as a Resident Assessment Coordinator (RAC-CT) or a Certified Nurse Executive (C-NE), you will learn MDS as they relate to those roles.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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