IV stands for “intravenous” and it effectively refers to those aspects of healthcare that involve inserting a needle into a patient with the intention of removing blood or with the intention of administering medication or another form of treatment directly into the bloodstream. With IV therapy certification you may be eligible for a raise in salary as well as for more advanced job opportunities and a broader career outlook.
There are a number of educational and other prerequisites that are required in order to enter an IV therapy training program. In order to be accepted into an IV therapy course you must meet the following prerequisites:
- You must be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN)
- You must be CPR-certified at the Health Care Provider level
- You must provide proof of current immunizations
- You must provide proof of a negative TB test
- You must provide proof of personal liability insurance
- You must also submit to criminal background checks
Where To Get Training
You have three options in terms of where you can get your IV therapy certification training:
- On The Job
- IV Therapy Courses
- IV Therapy Certificate Programs
IV therapy is a common task for nurses to perform; so on the job training is useful. Some hospitals offer validation of your IV therapy skills. This will allow you to go on to receive certification by taking the exam. You can also do an IV therapy course which will actually focus on teaching you specific skills related to IV therapy. IV therapy certification programs are similar to IV therapy courses expect that they are far more intensive.
There are a number of course topics that you should cover in an IV therapy certification training course, including intravenous therapy maintenance, intravenous catheters, antibiotic therapy, pharmacology, infection control, legal documentation, fluid balance, safe fluid administration and allergic responses. There are, essentially, a large number of different skills and knowledge that you will need to learn in order to do a job like this well. The programs that you select in order to complete your IV therapy certification training should include comprehensive classes in all of these topics as well as in any additional subjects that may be useful for IV therapy certification in your particular state. Online courses should also include these topics.
The following are the basic tasks that an IV therapy nurse performs:
- You will insert intravenous needles
- You will collect, handle and transport blood
- You will conduct electrocardiography tests
- You will administer parenteral nutrition
- You will administer transfusions
- You will administer antineoplastic agents.
- You may work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home or rehabilitation center or provide home care for housebound patients
- You will inform the patient about the procedure and the purpose of the IV drip
- You will educate the patient to comply with directives of the treatment plan
- You will monitor the rate of infusions and adjust the flow to meet the prescribed target rate
- You will work with the physician and other health-care staff to monitor patient allergic reactions
- You will work with the physician and other health-care staff to provide emergency care if and when necessary
Popular Career Options
There are a number of different places in which you can work as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse with IV therapy certification. The most popular places include:
- Physicians’ offices
- Assisted living facilities
- Long-term care facilities
Essentially you work anywhere where IV therapy is likely to be administered to patients. IV therapy involves the use of needles, so it is necessary that you are not only comfortable with needles and the sight of blood, but also that you know how to deal with patients under you care who are not comfortable with such things and who need reassurance when undergoing IV therapy of whatever kind and for whatever reason.
Continuing Education And Certification Information
It is interesting to note that IV therapy certification can occur at state level, but also at national level as the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC) offers national certification for registered nurses who pass the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) examination. Generally speaking it is a requirement that you are already an RN in order to receive certification of this kind. However, if you are an LPN who is enrolled in an LPN to RN program at the time that you apply for national certification, you will most likely also be permitted to write the certification exam and become certified to administer IV therapy across the entire country and not merely within your own state.
Summary: Steps To Becoming An IV Therapy Nurse
The following are the basic steps that you can follow in order to become an IV therapy certified nurse:
- Finish high school and take as many biology, math and chemistry classes as you can while still in school
- Take a nursing course an become a registered nurse
- Get hand-son practical training as well as theory training as a surgical nurse
- Go to a nursing school in order to attain additional training in anatomy and pharmacology to make it easier for you to understand the processes and so on involved in IV therapy
- As you will need to train others, such as the families of patients, how to administer IV therapy, this is also a skill you should pick up
IV Therapy Certification Through NAPNES
NAPNES stands for “National Association for Practical Nursing Education and Services” and this is an association through which you can get your IV therapy certification. According to the association’s website “NAPNES Certification in Intravenous Therapy (IV Therapy Certification) allows LP/VNs to measure their knowledge against a national test and offers a national, post-licensure credential that many employers ask for by name”. This is definitely one of the better associations through which you can receive certification and the vast majority of employers look upon IV therapy certification from this particular source very favorably indeed. On the association’s website you can apply for certification and find out more about what it takes to become IV certified.
There are a number of fees that may be associated with receiving IV therapy certification through NAPNES. These include:
- A $100.00 registration fee paid to NAPNES at the time you apply
- A $60.00 paid to Castle Worldwide for the first try at the certification exam
- A $50.00 for each additional attempt at the exam after your first try
- You may purchase study materials at an additional cost to help you pass the exam
- There are additional fees if you do not take the exam within 60 days of application
- There are additional fees if a check you send to NAPNES bounces
- There are late filing penalties in cases where you file for renewal of your certification late
- A $100 registration fee paid to NAPNES for the IV Therapy exam is also required
The certification that you receive is only valid for three years at which point you will need to apply for re-certification. NAPNES does its best to inform those nurses who need to apply for re-certification that the date is coming up. They will inform nurses via email of this. However in many cases NAPNES does not have your email address. In this case the certification card that you were given the last time you certified will be your reminder. These cards contain an expiration date that you will have to be re-certified by.
Length Of Process
According to the NAPNES website the length of the certification process depends on and can be controlled by you: “Much of the time required will depend on you. Basically it takes NAPNES four to six weeks to process an application. You can reduce this time by using online payments, faxing or emailing applications, etc. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. The process requires time as we conduct verifications on every application”. The bottom line is that, the sooner you start the application for certification process, the sooner you will be certified. When applying for re-certification make sure that you leave plenty of time for things to go wrong and that you are able to submit all paperwork before the due date.
NAPNES is a nursing association to which you can become a member. However, when it comes to IV therapy certification, there are a number of things to keep in mind:
– Becoming certified is not the same thing as becoming a member. You will need to go through an entirely different process in order to become a member of NAPNES.
– Becoming a member of NAPNES is highly recommended because you will be able to get discounts on study materials and other things.
– Being a member does, however, involve paying membership fees on a regular basis in order to adequately maintain your membership status with the association.
Although NAPNES admits that it is highly likely that you will be able to get a raise at your current job if you have IV therapy certification, there is no way that the association can guarantee that this will happen. It is, essentially, up to your employer. Some of them will give raises, others will not. However, with IV therapy certification, you will be able to apply for jobs that pay higher wages and you will also stand a higher chance of actually receiving those jobs. Even if you certification status does not make a significant difference in your current job it will open the door for you to apply to other jobs.
NAPNES offers an online certification exam that will allow you to become an IV therapy certified nurse. There are a number of thing to keep in mind in relation to this exam:
- The exam is online and can be taken from anywhere that has an internet connection.
- There is a time limit on the exam.
- Because you will need to control your own exam environment it is important that you try to find a computer that you can use in a quiet location.
- In addition try to choose somewhere where you will not be interrupted while writing the exam.
- In order to pass the exam you must get a score of 80% or higher.
Online IV Certification
IV certification can be earned online, which is very convenient considering that it is not always easy to give up your job in order to study further. There are a number of different associations and agencies through which you can receive certification. According to ehow.com “Those earning IV certification are often working professionals. Taking an online IV course offers scheduling convenience. It allows individuals to update their skills on their own time and with the ease of online accessibility”. Training courses of this kind are somewhere between $600 and $700 generally speaking and there are a number of offline and online options that you can make use of in order to adequately prepare yourself for the IV therapy certification exam through NAPNES or through another agency.
There are a number of advantages to becoming IV therapy certified, not least of which is the fact that you may get a raise if you do. In addition there are a number of job openings that you will stand a higher chance of being selected for if you have IV therapy certification. It is, essentially, a qualification that can open many doors for you and earn you a slightly higher degree of professional respect within the nursing industry, which is in itself a very meaningful reward. Different states have different rules regarding IV therapy certification, and it will be our own personal responsibility to look into the rules and regulations in your own state to determine whether you are eligible for the qualification.