IV Certification: What Is It and How Do I Get It???

VA-BC Exam Review
The word “certification” is used frequently in health care; but not always in the right context.  Many nurses choose to get certified in a particular specialty field (i.e CCU, IV Therapy, Oncology, etc.) for which they are required to sit for a national exam.  These are “actual” certifications that are offered through a national professional organization such as the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN); the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC); the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) or the Vascular Access Certification Corporation (VACC).

We receive many inquiries from all levels of healthcare providers who wish to become “IV Certified” and there are many websites that claim to offer “IV Certification“.  Though, a “true” IV Certification is achieved only by sitting for a national exam; and includes the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) administered by the INCC (for RN’s); and the Vascular Access Board Certified (VA-BC) administered by the VACC (for RN’s, LPN’s and other healthcare professionals).

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am an RN/LPN who has been told I need to be “IV Certified”; do I need to sit for a national exam?
  • Most often the answer is no. Though, some positions (such as an IV Team) may require an “actual” certification.
  • You will want to check with your individual institution to find out their specific requirements.
Q. I am NOT required to obtain an actual (national) certification; what course should I take?
  • You will need to resource a continuing education program that meets your State Board of Nursing requirements, as well as your individual institution’s policy & procedures for IV therapy practice.
  • If your State does not have any specific requirements, then our IV Therapy Education Program would most likely meet your needs. This program is available online.
REGISTERED NURSES (RN)
  • Most often, there are not specific requirements mandated by the State Boards of Nursing for RN’s, and in that case our IV Therapy Education Program would most likely meet your needs. This program is available online.
LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES (LPN)
  • Many States have specific IV Therapy Education requirements for LPN’s.
    • LPN’s in Florida & New Hampshire must have 30 hours of post graduate IV therapy education that includes a hands-on component. We partner with St. Petersburg College and Saint Anselm College to offer programs that meet these rules.
    • The Infusion Knowledge IV Therapy Education Program meets the 30-hour IV therapy education rule set forth by the Florida & New Hampshire Boards of Nursing for LPN’s practicing IV therapy, and will potentially meet the need of any LPN/LVN from another State that requires 30 hours or less of IV Therapy education.
  • Some States do not have a specific requirement for LPN’s; and then it comes down to your individual institution’s policy & procedures for IV therapy practice. Most often our IV Therapy Education Program would meet your need.
MEDICAL ASSISTANTS
  • Medical Assistants (or other unlicensed personnel) who practice IV therapy will often work under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and/or nurse, dependent upon the laws in their State. Many States have rules or laws that require IV therapy education, skills validation and/or a physician to be onsite whenever IV therapy is provided. It is imperative that you know the laws in your State!!
  • Once it is determined that Medical Assistants are allowed to practice IV therapy in their State, we suggest they complete our IV Therapy for Medical Assistants program.
  • Any online program should be followed by supervised hands-on skills practice/validation with a qualified clinical preceptor at your place of employment.
  • Infusion Knowledge is also available to come to your facility to teach a 4-hour program specific to your individual practice needs, which would include skills validation.
NOTE: The practice of IV Therapy must be performed according to an individual’s State scope of practice for their discipline and/or level of licensure.