Thank you, ladies, for the warm welcome and for your responses!
Kathryn, you're right. I don't think I'll need to re-take medical terminology and A & P. Per your advice, I won't volunteer either. For the last couple of years, I've been taking classes "for fun" at the local community college (which is how I learned about coding – from my typing teacher!). With the courses already taken, turns out I can get a Medical Coding & Billing Certificate of Achievement, or perhaps even an AA, by June 2019.
Kimberly, I agree that having my nursing experience is a HUGE advantage. I am so grateful for that. Honestly, I don't even know the difference of how a nurse thinks vs how a coder thinks (because I just found out about coding literally 4 days ago). What I interpret so far from what I've read is: Coders are like investigators, and coding is like doing a puzzle. What you recommended – to get my CCA then my CCS – is exactly what I had in mind. I will only take courses through AHIMA, and I'll check out AAPC.
And, yes, I am a member of this organization. I found AHIMA as I googled about coding. I didn't even know what AHIMA meant or what it was about. My $79 new member fee has been worth every penny. What a wealth of resources this site has. Plus, I've been able to connect with you all here!
Kate, thank you. I will check out the Coding Basics Program. I'm still discovering all that AHIMA has to offer. I love this Engage forum and this site!
For you three and anyone reading this:
I'm close to getting a certificate of achievement in coding & billing. Concurrently, I will study/prepare for the CCA exam. The reason I chose to go for CCA vs CCS is I did not think I qualified for CCS. (Kimberly, I already had the Candidate Guide saved on my desktop). But after obtaining a certificate of achievement in coding & billing, I think I would be able to sit in on the CCS exam.
I am planning to stay and work as Nursing Supervisor at my hospital until I retire in 10-15 years. After that, my hope is to supplement my retirement as a coder from home.
Well, this reply turned out waaaayyyy to long. I'm really excited about becoming a coder!