IV Certification for RNs

The Certified Registered Nurse Infusionist exam is the only professional certification available to registered nurses looking to specialize in intravenous (IV) therapies. Requirements include having a current RN license and experience in the field of IV therapy.

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Certified Registered Nurse Infusionist

To gain professional certification, applicants must pass the Certified Registered Nurse Infusionist (CRNI) exam administered by INCC (Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation). Requirements to sit for the exam include a RN license and 1,600 hours (at least) working as an infusion therapy nurse. Experience may be in an infusion specialty in the areas of clinical practice, research, administration or nursing education.

The computer exam is 3-hour long and consists of 170 questions. The exam tests applicants on nine essential infusion nursing core areas, including pharmacology, infection prevention, quality improvement and transfusion therapy. A CRNI must recertify every three years.

CRNI Duties

CRNIs may work in the infusion room or the ambulatory infusion section or on the IV team of a hospital. RNs with certification have a specialized or advance level of expertise in providing patients with infusion therapy. They start and maintain IVs. In the course of their duties, they may also administer antibiotics, solutions, blood products or chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs through IVs. They keep patients' records up-to-date and monitor patients' responses to medication. They can instruct student nurses, emergency medical technicians or other professionals in the field of medicine to start IVs.

A RN with CRNI certification may work as a home infusion facility coordinator, according to a job posting on Monster.com in November 2013. An individual in this position, oversees all activities related to infusion therapy, including evaluation, implementation, planning and assessment of IV therapy within a home care or hospice setting.

CRNIs are specialist in the field of IV therapy and may be active in establishing therapy procedures and policy. Hospitals prefer to use a CRNI when complicated infusion therapies are necessary. They are also trained to use IV products safely and as intended.

CRNI Educational Requirements

To become a RN, a student has to complete a training program, such as a diploma (offered through hospitals) or an associate or bachelor's degree program. It is not necessary to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to be eligible for certification. After completing their programs, graduates are eligible to apply for licensure by passing the NCLEX-RN exam. A RN then must meet the experience requirement before applying for certification in IV therapy. Payscale.com found that CRNIs made a median annual salary of $67,500; it should be noted that this figure only reflected the salaries of five individuals who provided data, though.

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