As an LPN, there are various forms of additional certification that you can achieve if you want to improve your resume and up your experience. One type of certification that you can receive is LPN IV certification. An IV is an intravenous method of supplying a patient with either nutrition or medication. There are several situations in which this may be necessary and standard LPNs are not permitted to administer IV treatments. RNs and LPNs with LPN IV certification are the only nurses who are permitted to provide this level of care.
How Does An LPN Become IV Certified?
LPN IV certification involves knowing how to safely insert a needle into a patient for a variety of different purposes. In LPN IV certification training you will learn how to:
- Insert a needle for the purpose of administering medication intravenously to a patient.
- Insert a needle for the purpose of a blood transfusion (where a patient who has lost blood is given more blood to replace it).
- Insert a needle for the purpose of withdrawing blood for testing or other purposes.
The main focus of this certification course is to teach you how to do all of the above correctly and safely. A badly placed needle can hurt a patient and may not be an efficient means of achieving the above aims. In addition if you are not careful you could cause an infection to flare up in the patient. For advanced IV skills and knowledge you will need to earn LPN IV certification.
There are a number of organizations that offer LPN IV certification. Two of these organizations are:
- The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN)
- The Infusion Nurses Society’s Certification Corporation
In order to be an LPN who is acknowledged as being an expert in the area of intravenous therapies you will need to go through the certification process as specified by one of these organizations. These are not the only certification bodies and requirements for certification can vary form organization to organization. In general, however, you will have to meet the following requirements:
- You will probably need to be licensed nurses.
- You will probably need to have previously completed an IV therapy training course.
- That course will most likely have to have included at least 20 contact hours in a setting where you would gain practical experience in IVB administration.
- You will have to successfully pass a proctored exam.
- You will need to obtain the required proctor and endorsement letters.
The LPN IV certification course that you complete should consist of two sections, namely theory and practical. You cannot become a certified IV LPN if you do not complete both aspects of the required training. There are in fact very few nursing training programs where you will not need to achieve a certain number of hours of practical experience, and these are usually for advanced practice nursing qualifications where you will already have received years of experience working as a nurse before you apply for certification. The certification organization can provide the study materials and information about where hands-on training is available in different geographic locations. To a large degree you will be responsible for ensuring that you receive the required number of hours of clinical training yourself. This should not be too difficult as you are already an LPN with access to the medical facility where you work.
Once you have received certification you will need to maintain your certification, often by presenting proof of continuing education credits. Again this depends on the specific organization through which you receive certification. For example you may be required to present proof of 20 continuing education credits every two years to the organization that initially certified you in order to stay certified. These requirements may vary, however, so be certain that you know what the recertification requirements are the impact on your situation.
As with any other certification course there are a number of topics that are specific to receiving LPN IV certification. According to education-portal.com these are the course topics that you can expect to cover in a certification course of this kind:
- Human body structure and functions (this is essential for understanding how the veins in the body work and where the veins are that you will be expected to insert the IV needle into)
- Importance of electrolytes and fluids
- IV solution concentrations
- IV preparation and vein selection
- Venipuncture techniques (Venipuncture is the term given to the act of literally puncturing the vein in order to insert the IV needle)
- Patient complications from IV therapy
- Peripheral access techniques in IV therapy
- Central access techniques and central line care in IV therapy
- IV therapies for specific disease control
- Health care legalities and regulations (all nursing specialties have to cover the various legal aspects of the job in order to cover both you as well as to cover the school or program through which you achieve your certification)
Employment Outlook And Salary Information
From 2008 to 2018 we expect to see a growth in the LPN profession of around 22%. Generally speaking this is a profession that is growing at a far faster rate than any other. Consequently the job outlook for LPNs in general is extremely good and is expected to remain stable, making this a very secure job sector to become involved in. In addition, nurses that have LPN IV certification well be in added demand for the skills that they have and the tasks in the nursing setting that they are permitted to perform. Consequently you will be able to find employment in any general LPN setting as well as in any setting where IV certification will come in handy. This is essentially a method through which you can improve your job prospects significantly and ensure that you will always be able to find employment no matter where you are in the country. On average an LPN earns about $41,000 a year, which is not a bad salary at all. Remember that this will depend on the number of years of experience that you have as well on which state you work in.
Professional Certification And Continuing Education Information
Certification to be an IV nurse is not compulsory, but rather voluntary, meaning that it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to pursue certification through one of the organizations that offer it. However it must be noted that it will improve the status of you resume and will create a situation where an employer is more likely to choose you on the basis of your LPN IV certification than another nurse with similar qualities who does not have the certification. This will of course be especially true in institutes and health care facilities where IV fluids are administered regularly. There are several organizations through which you can pursue voluntary certification:
- The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (www.nflpn.org): IV Therapy and Gerontology certification.
- The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (www.incc1.org): Certified Registered Nurse Infusion credential.
Generally speaking you will need to already hold a nursing license in order to apply for certification through one of these bodies. You will also need to complete the number of training hours specified by that particular organization and you will need to write an exam.
IV Certification Programs
There are a number of schools and institutes that offer LPN IV certification training programs. It is essential that you ensure that the training program you attend is accredited by the appropriate bodies. If it is not you will essentially be wasting both your time and your money and you hard work and qualification will count for nothing. Choosing a program should be done carefully as it will affect the rest of your career. Here is a list of some of the schools that you could attend in order to get your LPN IV certification:
Perivascular Nurse Consultants Inc.
8013 Bingham Street
Philadelphia, PA 19111
National Pharmacy Technician Association – NPTA
PO BOX 683148
Houston, TX 77268
National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses–NFLPN
605 Poole Drive
Garner, NC 27529
Contra Costa Medical Career College
4051 Lone Tree Way
Antioch, Ca 94531
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
65 Bergen St.
Newark, NJ 07101
Critical Concepts Medical Education
3201 Griffin Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Receiving additional certification in your nursing career of any kind will be beneficial to you in terms of seeking employment and advancing your career opportunities. LPN IV certification is one of the more common certifications to receive, and it is also one that is most widely applicable to a variety of health care settings. If you specifically want to improve your opportunities in the health care field, this is the route that you should take in order to achieve this.