Does anyone hold additional certifications related to Neonatal nursing? - page 2

Hey, Do any of you have any certifications or education/positions related to Neonatal nursing? Lactation consultants? Childbirth educators? La Leche league team leaders? Certified Infant... Read More

  1. by   NICU_Nurse

    Thank you for the links! The site has a lot of resources; I added it to my favorites.

    I guess I was just wondering HOW some of you got these- like the RTS bereavement counseling? I was looking for a site so that I could get more information, but I can't seem to find one that actually belonged to RTS (just other organizations that offer local services, like hospitals or places that run support groups). How did you find out about the training? How long was the course, did you pay for it, etc.?

    I thought this thread could be a help for other newer nurses who are looking to improve themselves within their field.

    I have BLS and NRP, now, and am trying to find a new goal. I thought that I might pursue something from NCC (they have a few neonatal-related certifications) in this coming year (I *almost* qualify now...), but the RTS thing sounded like something very helpful as well. Let me know if you all stumble across anything! Thanks for all the replies. I'm always interested in what other people are doing.
  2. by   CatRN
    Hi Kristi,
    I have the usual NRP, PALS, BLS, ACLS, & ALS nurse certifications, but I also have my RNC in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, my CCRN, and my IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). You do have to have 2,000 hours in your speciality to sit for your RNC and have to maintain it through CEU's and attending conferences. The test was killer and asked the most ridiculous questions about syndromes you were lucky if you've even read about them, let alone have seen them in practice. If you are interested in your national certifications (RNC, IBCLC) there is a website you can go to....for accreditation....I will try and find it for you and post it. The lactation test was less expensive than the RNC, I think it was only $200 to sit for it, and the text to study from. RNC was approximately $500 or so. They offer different testing days at certain sites depending on where you live.
    In all honesty, all these certifications are more letters to add to your badge. I am a travelor and it may have made me more marketable, but it doesn't mean that I get the job over someone else because of those cert's. I sat for those cert's when I was staff about 3 yrs ago, we had a clinical ladder program and you were paid $1 more per hour for each certification as well as reimbursed for the test and the text. Decide for yourself if it's worth it, what your facility is willing to pay, etc. Good luck!
  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    Thank you, Cat! Would you mind telling me more about your IBCLC certification? I know there are a huge number of hands-on counseling hours required to obtain this certification, in addition to the testing itself. How did you get yours? Did you get much opportunity to counsel within the NICU or did you have to arrange an outside practicum?

    I know that they're expensive, for sure (certifications in general), which is a bit disappointing as I am not made of money! When it starts raining from the sky, let me know...I'll be on the first flight over there. I also feel, though, that for me personally, obtaining additional certifications will not only make me more marketable, but will serve as a way for me to continue learning and expanding knowledge that is relevant to my field, you know?

    Also, how did you study for your RN,C? Which books did you use? Did you obtain this through NCC? (I visited their web site recently, and was excited that they offered multiple perinatal choices.) Is there an "official" book, or did you study things like Merenstein/Gardner or Gamella's Neonatology?

    And finally, I have a question: What is ALS? Is it like BLS? I'm not familiar with that one.

    Oops, another one. Is there a reason that you obtained your ACLS? Do you also work with adults? I've noticed that a few people here have ACLS and I was just wondering why/what motivated you all to get it. I"m still a "new" nurse, and I'd thought that that was just for adults...?

    Thanks again for everyone's answers! I really enjoy reading all about how talented and smart-like we are.
  4. by   CatRN
    Hi Kristi,
    For my IBCLC I worked in LDRP which is Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Post Partum and you were required to report your "consults" and provide documentation of said consults by your management. I believe it was 1000 hrs or so, can't remember it was 7 years ago. I will pull out my paperwork for you. You are required to do lactation consults repeatedly to keep up your certification as well as attend lactation updates....sort of like breastfeeding conferences. CEU's of course, are also needed.
    It does help in the NICU, but there are usually lactation consultants on staff.....and I prefer bedside NICU nursing to simply just being a lactation consultant.
    As for my RNC....there is a Core Curriculum review book that is recommended by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and can go to and go under Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care. Also, very helpful books are Fetal and Neonatal Secrets By Dr Richard Polin & Dr Alan Spitzer, Core Review for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Edited by Robin L. Watson (question and answer book very helpful for preparing you for the test), Care of the High Risk Neonate by Klaus & Fanaroff, and Handbook fo Neonatal Intensive Care by Gerald Merenstein and Sandra Gardner (one of my favorite books). These are very useful for studying prior to taking the exam and extremely helpful in practice as well.
    If you are into developmental care, one of my favorite topics, there is also a book by Dr Edward Goldson called Nurturing the Premature Infant.....which is all about developmental interventions in the NICU. Developmental care is one of the most intriguing topics to me, and the most fun because you are able to incorporate the parents so much more than before. I would also recommend a book about genetics....they did ask a lot of questions on syndromes that are genetic. Some way out of left field too.
    As far as stands for Advanced Life Support which is additional training that we took to be able to intubate, insert umbilical lines, Peripheral Arterial lines and PICC lines as well as xray interpretation for line placement, pneumothorax, NEC, and other radiographic findings. ACLS is Advanced Cardiac Life Support and is required to work in ECMO centers and heart transplant centers, such as Children's hospitals. Not all NICU's require this, but it is a good cert to have. I have also worked in PICU which also requires ACLS, PALS, and NALS or NRP. Hope I was able to help you a bit....I have a ton more books to recommend if you want them. More for your practice....I am never without my references..... :-)
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    Oh, Cat, dear Lord, I LOVE YOU! Thank you for those recommendations. I have the M/G book, but will put the others on my list as the funds become available.

    I am going to begin "formally studying" in January (I'm starting a new job soon and am trying not to over-stress myself as I'm learning my way around there), and I'm a bit nervous that even with my 2000+ hours I won't have been exposed long enough to pass such an intensive test, but I'm definitely going to give it a whirl. I just don't know when! Wow. So much to learn!

    Thank you for the recommendation of the Developmental Care book, as well. This will probably be the first book I purchase, because this is becoming a pet subject of mine, and I'd love to read more.

    Okay, even MORE questions (someone tie my fingers together, please!). Are NALS and NRP the same thing, or are they different courses? Also, for all of you that have these multiple cert's (ALS/ACLS/PALS, etc.), how do you REMEMBER all of it? Do you review often? Use it often enough in your day-to-day environments? Etc.

    And, lastly, have any of you purchased that radiology CD that is available from the ANN, and if so, would you recommend it or is it not as helpful as you thought?
  6. by   CatRN
    Dear Kristi,
    NALS and NRP are the same thing, different ways of saying it. Kind of like PPHN and PFC.....same meaning, different title. Developmental care is one of my favorite topics and one of the most rewarding....any questions you have....feel free to email me.
  7. by   marypat1
    a lot of good advice in these answers....I have been in neonatal 30 years...get your certification first...go from there...good luck
  8. by   Anna57
    OK, I am a student. I am interested in NICU. Could someone explain what the abbreviations stand for in theses different certifications? Dumb question, I know. But, I just want to know what I have to look forward to! thanks
  9. by   marypat1
    Hello Anna,
    I am a neonatal nurse...29 years in the same unit. We are 95% certified through NCC.. A typical nurse recruit spends 2 years in general Med-Surg. , comes to us,spends 2 years in the unit working...then is eligable to take His/Her certification exam. These are given in most major cities twice a year...I took my exam at Columbia University the first time it was given...An RN is necessary to begin this process..About 15% of us have our 4 year degree or are working on it...We do not hire LPN's

    Hope this helps you decide on your career goals...You may E mail me at Mary Pat Arnold
  10. by   tinyhands4Him
    CatRN, I would love it if you would recommend other reference books for us. I'm a new grad that's just worked 4 months in the NICU and I am excited to get my hands on anything I can. Thanks!