Earning Your Long Term Care Certification

Long Term Care Certification

There are a number of different areas of nursing that you can be employed in once you have qualified as an LPN. One of these is long term nursing care. Although it is not necessarily essential, it is a good idea to earn you long term care certification as this may improve your chances of employment in this line of nursing and could increase your salary in your current job, although that will depend on your employer. There is a subtly different set of skills needed for success in long term care as compared to brief hospital nursing.


The long term care certification that NAPNES offers can be described as comprehensive. This is because it covers all aspects of long term care and prepares you to care for nay demographic that needs long term care, from small babies to the elderly. Often when nurses think of long term care they assume that they will be working with elderly members of society, but there are many others who also need the help of a certified professional in order to function on a daily basis. Consequently the need for nurses to specialize in long-term care has arisen.

NAPNES suggests that you pay online and complete your application forms through the online portal in order to receive long term care certification, a qualification that will certainly boost your resume.

The Costs

As with any certification process, there are a number of costs involved in earning your long term care certification through NAPNES. The primary costs that you will be held responsible for are as follows:

  • An initial application cost paid to NAPNES at the time that you apply for certification of $100
  • An exam fee paid to Castle Worldwide in order to take the online certification exam of $60

The fee that you pay to Castle Worldwide is for your first attempt on the test. Should you fail the test, you will then need to pay an additional amount of $50 each time you attempt to take the test again.

In addition to initial certification it will be necessary for you to become re-certified at set intervals. Re-certification also comes at a price. At the moment it will cost you $150 in order to become re-certified as a nurse with special skills in long term healthcare. The reasons that this costs more is because NAPNES needs to verify the following:

  • The fact that you have engaged in the necessary continuing education
  • The fact that you have achieved the relevant amount of employment experience


The re-certification fee may seem steep, but you must remember that your certification is valid for a period of three years from the day that it is issued, so it is not a cost that you will be required to pay very often. NAPNES will attempt to remind you that your certification will soon expire, but if your contact details have changed and you have not informed them of this, you may never receive this notification. In any case NAPNES clearly states that it remains the responsibility of the LPN in question to ensure that he or she is re-certified when necessary, and that, although NAPNES will attempt to remind its nurses of this fact, they will not be held responsible should you neglect to seek re-certification. Usually your re-certification reminder will be sent via email, so this is the main contact detail that you need to keep up to date with NAPNES> in addition your certification card will have your expiration date written on it, which serves as your primary reminder to seek re-certification.Long Term Care

Length Of Process

The length of the application and certification process depends to a large degree on the applicant. NAPNES takes around 4 to 6 weeks in order to process your application. If you wait until the last minute to seek certification or re-certification, it will take longer as your application will not be a priority. If possible you should apply as far in advance as possible in order to ensure that the process is as speedy as it can be. There are two main ways in which you can ensure that the process does not take too much time. You can:

  • Make payments online
  • Fax or email your application

Online payments are guaranteed to go through immediately. If you pay in any other way (such as telephonically or by posting a check) time will be required for the information to reach NAPNES and for the payment to go through and be fully verified by the organization. The same principle applies to sending your applications. Faxed or emailed applications are considerably more likely to reach NAPNES at a faster rate than those that are posted.

NAPNES Membership

Many nurses erroneously assume that receiving long term care certification through NAPNES is the same as becoming a member of NAPNES. This is not the case. In order to become a member it is necessary for you to undergo an entirely separate process that can be accessed by visiting the organizations main site. Being a member is not a prerequisite for receiving long term care certification, but there are a number of benefits to being a member of NAPNES. For one thing you will automatically have access to resources and career opportunities that you may not otherwise have had access to. In addition you will be given the opportunity to network with other nurses in similar positions to you, which can do wonders for your career as the best way to hear about new job opportunities is through word of mouth. NAPNES also provides continuing education opportunities that will allow you to boost your resume, and actual members of NAPNES tend to have access to these opportunities for lower prices or at no cost at all. So if you are considering becoming a certified long term care nurse, it may also be worthwhile to consider full NAPNES membership.

Salary Increases

One of the primary reasons why nurses like to achieve additional certification in areas such as long term care is that they hope that it will mean an increase in their salaries. NAPNES is very clear that they cannot make promises on this point. Although many employers will increase the salaries of nurses who have gone the extra mile and received additional certification, each employer is different and it is their prerogative when deciding whether to give you a pay rise or not. Your employer may also consider a number of other criteria when deciding whether or not a salary increase is in order, such as:

  • Your actual performance on the job up until that point
  • Your perceived level of commitment to the facility where you work
  • The amount of experience that you already have working in long term care

If you plan to seek certification specifically in order to improve your salary opportunities, it is very important that you first check with your employer to ascertain whether or not such salary increases are in fact a genuine option for you. This will avoid disappointment and prevent you from wasting your time if that is the primary benefit that you hope to achieve.

The Test

All nursing certifications require that you take a test. The test that you will take to earn your long term care certification is online and can be taken from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a computer with an internet connection. The test will consist of 150 multiple choice questions and is time limited, meaning that if you do not complete all of your answers in the time provided, the test will end and your results will be graded regardless of whether or not you have actually answered all of the questions on the test. In order to pass the test you need to receive a mark of 80% or higher, so it is highly recommended that you complete any training courses that you can find to improve your chances of passing. In addition you should locate a quiet area where you will not be interrupted in order to take the test as this will also improve your chances of success significantly.

American Association For Long Term Nursing

Long Term Care Certification Program

The AALTCN offers a comprehensive program in the form of the LPN Guide for Excellence in Long Term Care and a related study guide. The main purpose of this program is to ensure that LPNs are properly prepared for their roles as long term care nurses. The outcomes of the course are many and varied:

  • Firstly the textbook outlines the main responsibilities that LPNs who are employed in long term care facilities will have.
  • As different people react in different ways when they or a loved family member is admitted to long term care, the book is also aimed at ensuring that LPNs are aware of how to work with these people and respond appropriately to their reactions.
  • One of the key tasks that a nurse with long term care certification needs to be aware of is the components of resident assessment.
  • It is not enough simply to create and administer a care plan; it also has to be an effective working tool – methods for achieving this are also included in the program.
  • In addition to the above the LPN enrolled in this course will become familiar with the serious clinical risks that patients in the long term care facility face as well as how to manage those risks.
  • Medical emergencies can arise in long term care facilities in a variety of different forms – as a nurse with long term care certification you will be trained in identifying these risks and managing them where possible.
  • As many people admitted to long-term┬ácare tend to be elderly, you will also be taught how age can impact the effects that drugs have on a patient.
  • Related to the previous point is safe medication use, as elderly residents are not always in a state to remember when and why they must take their medications.
  • Some of the key personality traits and skills you will need to display are covered in the program and include assertiveness, communication, time management, delegation, performance appraisal, and complaint management.
  • As an LPN working in a situation such as this you will also need to be able to manage any complaints that may arise.
  • There are a number of legal risks that are very specific to long term nursing care. As a nurse working in that environment you must be trained to know and identify these risks, as well as in how to reduce them when and where possible.
  • Long term care nursing can be highly stressful. Another key skill that you will learn is how to identify stressors and manage stress in this environment.

There are a number of potential advantages to earning your long term care certification. There is, of course, the possibility that you will be eligible for more advanced positions and a higher salary in your day-to-day life. However in addition to that it will prepare you adequately for a job in long term care nursing. There are a number of aspects of this kind of nursing that are not present, at least not to the same degree, in other nursing specialties. Consequently there is a set of different and unique skills that will allow you to be more effective in this line of work and to serve your patients to the best of your ability. If you plan to work in long term care, long term care certification is essential.