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  1. Perla, Lisa Y. PhD, MSN, CFNP
  2. Barry, Erin S. MS
  3. Grunberg, Neil E. PhD


Purpose/Objectives: Case management in Veterans Affairs (VA) depends on leadership skills such as effective communication, excellent resource management, self-governance, patient advocacy, and a distinctly professional attitude. VA registered nurses (RNs) and social workers (SWs) also provide case management services, a role and service, which is pivotal to veteran satisfaction and effective health care coordination.


The leader-follower framework (LF2) was used to assess and compare the responses of RNs, SWs, and case managers (CMs) on the annual VA All Employee Survey (AES) to provide insight regarding VA case management performance, which has influenced veteran satisfaction.


Primary Practice Setting: VA CMs work in a variety of clinical settings, which, in recent years, includes the use of telehealth modalities because of COVID-19. VA CMs remain flexible working in environments where and when veterans require their services while promoting safe, effective, and equitable health care services.


Findings/Conclusions: RNs and SWs indicated greater agreement and satisfaction scores in 2019 compared with 2018 on questions related to the leadership element of character and questions regarding mutual respect between VA senior leaders and the respondents. In contrast, RNs and SWs indicated less agreement and satisfaction scores on questions related to the leadership elements of competence, context, communication, personal, interpersonal, team, organizational, and greater burnout in 2019 than in 2018. RN response scores in 2018 and 2019 were greater and burnout scores were less than SWs. Additionally, the one-way analysis of variance indicated no difference for RNs and SWs who were performing the duties of a CM.


Implications for Case Management Practice: The responses of RNs indicated greater satisfaction and less burnout than SWs and were consistent whether RNs and SWs were in case management roles or not. These are important findings and concerning trends warranting further discussion and research.