Certification in Telephone Triage


Has anyone taken the NCC Telephone Nursing Practice Certification Exam?

Several of us in Call Center are thinking about taking it, but we do strictly Pediatric Triage calls. Does the exam also cover adult triage or scheduling appointments and making referrals? We don't have any experience with those aspects of Call Center operations.

I don't plan to ever do adults and don't really want to have to study about adult triage to take the exam. Any information would be appreciated greatly. Thanks

Don't get me wrong, I admire those who do adult nursing, just not my cup of tea.


2 Posts

Greetings:D I supervise a 24 hour call center in Louisville, KY. Myself and five staff members are certified in telephone triage. The test is a mixed bag of questions but we all felt that the focus was on Peds. There are several adult questions, several OB-GYN questions and a few psych questions but they are things you should remember from nursing school. There are also a few questions about ethics, utilization of protocols, standards for protocols, and URAC guidelines. I believe a perfect score is 800 and I scored relatively low at 652 but 500 is passing and the mean average was around 727. Out of 314 people tested in 2001, 301 passed the exam. Also, there are four different versions of the test so yours may be harder or it may be easier. Overall, I studied very little and relied on my years of experience in the telephone triage field. Hope that helps and good luck:cool:


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!. Has 31 years experience.

Thanks...I would like to take the certification, but why does it have to cost so much? The certification doesn't earn me any extra pay. Does it mean anything to others, other than satisfaction?


2 Posts

N.C.C. is a business and money is always the bottom line. They just went back to the computer testing this year also, with one paper test being offered in December. One of my nurses has taken the computer test and found it to be easier, and they allow you to go back to a question, unlike our state boards. We are lucky at the call center I supervise...The company pays the test fee, travel, lodging, and meals. We are rewarded with a permanent $2,000 annual salary increase, so it definitwely pays for our nurses. It's only fair that they reward you somehow because you better believe our company is using that RNC certification moniker when they market the product.


4 Posts

The NCC certification test is quite basic, and covers all possible aspects and population range which you might encounter while doing advice nursing. I would advice this test, but to be successful, you will need to have a little review in the adult protocol area -- areas of focus specific to that test include key elements of recognizing emergent symptoms of suicide/depression, understanding the pitfalls surrounding assessing an elderly person by phone (this is often similar to the pitfalls of assessing a child, since an elderly person faces some of the same physiological and psychosocial elements). An example would be recognizing that an elderly person it at high risk for committing suicide.

Try visiting the websites linking you to telephone triage and even looking up "telephone triage certification" or "NCC certification" under your own online search engine. There are professionals who have websites that focus on resources to help you learn about this test, an outline of its contents, and fees and certification update.

There is information through the organization on how to obtain a manual. This manual, if studied thoroughly, will provide success in passing this certification test. There are portions of the test which most of us who have taken it will say is very fair and helpful, and portions that are too basic and not a necessary "need to know" subject. However, as a professional, seeking to improve your own quality of care, express you specific interest in telephone advice, professional attitude and perhaps the way you are seen by your peers or managers, this is an ideal option.

A final word on why to take it ---over time, the more people who take this exam, the more likely they will decide it is worth delving into sub-specialty telephone advice certification -- such as Pediatrics. Isn't that what we all want? Special attention to our niche in nursing?

Good Luck.

I hope this helps.


33 Posts

Thanks for the information.

I need to find out if the hospital will cover any of the expenses. I'll definitely look into it more.

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