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Making Sense of IV "Certification"

You’ve worked long and hard to become an LPN/LVN. Now you want to expand your education and role and begin performing IV therapy with patients. This is why many LPNs/LVNs ask the question, “How do I obtain my IV certification?” This can be a confusing topic, and here we will try to make sense of this process.

When we talk about IV “certification,” that is really a misnomer. In MOST states there is no actual “certification” given to LPNs/LVNs to be able to perform IV therapy. The nurse must be aware of the rules provided by the Board of Nursing for the state in which he/she practices, as every state’s rules vary slightly.

There are three separate components involved to be able to legally perform IV therapy on patients as an LPN/LVN.

Let’s start with education; always a good place to start. In most states the college curriculum to obtain your nursing LPN/LVN license contains some infusion therapy principles. This varies greatly from college to college, as well as state to state. Most state boards mandate that to be able to perform IV therapy on patients, the LPN/LVN complete additional education beyond the education needed to become an LPN/LVN. This education provides the knowledge and competency necessary to qualify the LPN/LVN to administer IV therapy. The Board of Nursing in some states requires the I.V. course curriculum to be approved by them and have very specific content requirements. This is why it is important to know exactly what YOUR state requires before practicing IV therapy as an LPN/LVN.

The second part of becoming qualified to perform IV therapy as an LPN/LVN is competency demonstrations. This is what you might think of as a skills competency check-off or validation. The skills check-off is to be performed under the supervision of a preceptor with appropriate infusion therapy knowledge and skills. This is where you will put into practice all the great information you learned in your additional IV education class; the preceptor then ensures that you are knowledgeable and safe to perform IV therapy on patients!

The third aspect of being able to practice IV therapy on patients is making sure that tasks performed by you as an LPN/LVN are within your legal scope of practice as defined by your State Board of Nursing. This is where it gets tricky! Pedagogy has provided links to each and every state’s Board of Nursing website.

Here we summarize for everyone the requirements for each state for a LPN/LVN to be eligible to perform IV therapy and the tasks that are legal for your scope of practice in your state. Some states very specifically define what an LPN/LVN is able to do regarding IV therapy, and some states say that each facility may make its own decision as to which tasks an LPN/LVN may perform regarding IV therapy. These requirements are defined within each facility’s policy and procedures.

We have made this easy for you; with just a click on your state, we take you to state-specific information so that you can make sense about how to begin performing IV therapy! Find your state and specific information under our "Resources" and "State Boards of Nursing".

For most states the education requirements for LVN/LPNs are fulfilled by completing 2 courses from Pedagogy.  The Basics of Peripheral IV Therapy in Adults; Current Standards of Practice and Current Practices in the Management of Central Lines.  We have also packaged these to courses into a convenient bundle for an additional cost savings.

For Florida LPN’s please see our 30 hour online program developed especially for Florida license holders; Florida Board Approved IV Education.

These courses have been developed to fulfill education needs for LPNs and LVNs, but we have many RN’s utilize these online continuing education courses, as they are an excellent review and provide the latest infusion standards of practice as issued by the Infusion Nurses Society.

Pedagogy blog written by Capra Dalton, RN. Capra Dalton is our CEO and author of Pedagogy online continuing education courses.

Capra Dalton, Registered Nurse, has more than 26 years of experience in infusion therapy and the instruction of licensed nurses in infusion therapy continuing education. Her experience comes from multiple infusion settings: acute care, ambulatory infusion centers, home infusion, long term care continuing education provider, and long term care pharmacy quality assurance consultant.

As the CEO, Capra is responsible for all operational aspects of Pedagogy, including education course content, author recruitment, and management. She is a member of the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Services (NAPNES), and the Council of Practical Nurse Educators (COPNE), and presented at a recent Texas Health Care Association convention on “Nurses Meeting the Changing Needs of LTC Residents - IV’s and PICC Lines.” Capra received her nursing education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Capra has an avid interest in holistic healing, nutrition, herbs, and alternative therapies for the treatment of disease in humans as well as animals. She and her husband, Patrick, live near Tyler, Texas, with their two teenage daughters, three dogs, and a cat on a ranch complete with horses, chickens, vineyard, orchards, and a 4,000 square foot organic garden.
Posted: 7/15/2013 11:56:56 AM
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