Become an IV Instructor: Education Requirements and Career Info

Find out how to become an IV instructor. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in IV education.

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Do I Want to Be an IV Instructor?

An intravenous (IV) instructor is a registered nurse (RN) who educates other nurses in IV therapy. Most IV instructors are certified to teach nursing skills such as IV therapy and provide such training in addition to their nursing duties. IV instructors teach nursing, emergency medical services, and other medical student how to insert intravenous needles, attach the cording to medication, regulate the amount of medication being absorbed by the patient, and how to take IV tubes and needles out safely and cleanly.

Registered nurses may employed by a range of medical care settings; IV instructors may teach in hospitals or postsecondary school settings part-time in addition to their full-time nursing positions. Some hospitals employ advanced practice nurses to teach and nurse. Because most nurses interact directly with patients, there is some risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Nurses often work long, irregular hours to provide 24-hour coverage in hospitals. IV instructors employed by schools may teach classes during the day, evenings, or weekends, depending on curriculum schedules.

Job Requirements

After completing the requirements to become an RN and gaining work experience in infusion therapies, a nurse usually needs to complete a graduate degree prior to working as an instructor. In addition, he or she may need to hold certifications in both infusion therapy as well as nursing education. The table below includes the core requirements for becoming an IV instructor:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Bachelor's degree at minimum for teaching nursing, master's or higher preferred**
Degree Field Nursing**
Licensing and Certification RN license required, certification as infusion nurse and/or nurse educator helpful**
Experience Varies by employer, applicants for certification or graduate programs may need one or more years of nursing experience***
Key Skills Communication skills, teaching skills, critical thinking skills, detail oriented*

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **University of Las Vegas, ***Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation

Step 1: Enter and Complete a Nursing Education Program

Aspiring nurses can chose between associate's and bachelor's degree programs as well as three-year diploma programs offered at some hospitals through a school's nursing program. Nursing degree programs are offered by community colleges and four-year universities.

Success Tip:

  • Complete a bachelor's degree program. Nursing instructors must, at bare minimum, hold a bachelor's degree, and even then they must teach under the supervision of instructors with graduate degrees. By completing a bachelor's degree, an aspiring IV instructor is academically prepared for applying to a graduate school.

Step 2: Earn Nursing License

State license boards issue nursing licenses and each state has its own requirements. However, all states require nurses to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and some require candidates to pass additional exams that cover state laws. In addition, states usually require nurses to submit to a criminal background check.

Success Tips:

  • Contact the nursing board. State nursing boards can provide nursing students with information on the licensing process. This can help a student nurse understand the licensing procedure, requirements and costs.
  • Take a NCLEX-RN test preparation class. Many aspiring nurses benefit from taking an exam prep class prior to the NCLEX-RN exam. Being prepared for an exam can help a candidate get a passing grade, allowing him or her to complete the licensing process.

Step 3: Get Work Experience

An IV instructor needs experience providing infusion therapy along with general nursing practice. The exact amount of experience required varies by employer as well as the requirements of certification and education programs to which the nurse plans to apply. Certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) requires 1,600 hours of infusion nursing experience. The National League for Nursing's certification program for nursing educators has two separate certification tracks: One requires candidates to have two years of employment in an academic nursing program. In addition, some master's degree programs require applicants to have at least a year of nursing experience.

Step 4: Earn Infusion Certification

The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation offers the CRNI certification to nurses with at least 1,600 hours of experience in infusion therapy, which may include time spent in the areas of research or education. In addition, a candidate for licensure must also pass a certification examination. While earning the CRNI is not an absolute requirement for becoming an IV instructor, the certification does establish an individual's knowledge and experience in IV nursing and can be helpful in getting an educator job.

Step 5: Enter Graduate School

Nurse educators often have graduate degrees in nursing. Nursing schools and state nursing boards often require instructors to have at least a master's degree. If an educator hopes to teach in a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, or at the graduate level, he or she should pursue a doctoral degree. In both cases, the nurse should look for a program that offers specific training in nursing education.

Success Tip:

  • Complete a post-master's certificate in nursing education. If a nurse's graduate degree program doesn't offer the option of a major or minor in nursing education, a post-master's certificate can be good preparation for a career in nursing education.

Step 6: Complete Nurse Educator Certification

While certification as a nurse educator isn't required, it does establish a nurse's credentials as an educator. The National League for Nursing offers the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) credential. Successful candidates for certification must hold an active nursing license and meet specific educational requirements.

Step 7: Complete Continuing Education Requirements

State boards of nursing often require nurses to complete continuing education or professional development hours as a condition of license renewal. Similarly, professional bodies often require nurses to take continuing education as a condition of certification renewal. Failure to complete continuing education can cause the loss of licensure or certification.

Success Tip:

  • Mark certification and licensing renewal dates on a calendar. To avoid an unintentional lapse in certification or an expired license, nurses should keep track of all renewal dates so they can appropriately schedule continuing education classes.
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