1. Alejandro, Jose PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE, FAAN

Article Content

2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat, the first of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. It signifies renewal and new beginnings! As a professional case manager, it is the perfect time for lifelong learning, development, advocacy, and resiliency. Here are my thoughts about the opportunities ahead of us:


Lifelong learning. Today, the traditional classroom setting has been flipped and replaced with other nontraditional learning environments such as digital media, informal learning, and incidental learning (Marsick & Watkins, 2018). More than ever, we learn through experience and by doing. Evidence-based practice allows us to transfer and replicate best-in-class learning and knowledge from others. And more importantly, remember the importance of learning from mistakes.


Professional development continues our journey from novice to expert (Ozdemir, 2019). We all have room to grow and to build generational knowledge within the case management field. The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) offers a number of opportunities to grow professionally: webinars, white papers, conferences, local chapter meetings, and writing. From my personal perspective, I process and acquire so much knowledge as I develop articles for CMSA Today, Professional Case Management, and other professional journals. Professional and scholarly writing also further develops our critical thinking skills and reflective practice.


Advocacy. As professional case managers we all know the important role that we have as advocates. Michelle Baker's (2019, 2020) articles on field case management advocacy are the perfect examples of the critical role we have in navigating our health care delivery system, networking with community stakeholders, and advocating for the specific concerns of the individuals we serve. Ms. Baker poignantly describes how communication and collaboration is "intensified" as we manage and facilitate individual care transitions (Baker, 2019).


Resiliency. Taking care of ourselves is imperative, but often neglected. Self-care requires us to develop behaviors and habits that acknowledge the positive impact we have as professionals and individuals within the community we live within (Newell, 2020). Resiliency is the fuel that builds our emotional intelligence and capacity to preserve our ability of being servant leaders over the long term.


As professional case managers, we need to also be cognizant of our obligation of building a legacy that assists the next generation of individuals to effectively execute our important role. CMSA is committed to developing a vision that deploys strategies to strengthen our profession into the future. We value your insight and suggestions on how we can build a stronger community of practice.




Baker M. (2019). Field case management: A unique advocacy role. Professional Case Management, 24(2), 99-100. doi:10.1097/NCM.0000000000000354 [Context Link]


Baker M. (2020). "Boots-on-the-ground" advocacy: Field case management and transitions of care. Professional Case Management, 1, 46. doi:10.1097/NCM.0000000000000411 [Context Link]


Marsick V. J., Watkins K. E. (2018). Introduction to the special issue: An update on informal and incidental learning theory. New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, 2018(159), 9-19. doi:10.1002/ace.20284 [Context Link]


Newell J. (2020). An ecological systems framework for professional resilience in social work practice. Social Work, 65(1), 65-73. doi:10.1093/sw/swz044 [Context Link]


Ozdemir N. G. (2019). The Development of nurses' individualized care perceptions and practices: Benner's novice to expert model perspective. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 12(2), 1279-1285. [Context Link]