1. The application requires professional education hours. Are these hours equivalent to CEUs?
The education hours for certification do not need to be preapproved CEUs. For all education, both online and in person, you must be able to describe how the education relates to your NICU practice.
The hours reported need to relate to the NICU but may be part of a longer course on pediatrics or similar. For example, if you took a 16-hour course on infant feeding and 4 of those hours related to the NICU, you would report 4 hours for that particular course.
The number of hours, not CEUs conferred, is what should be documented. The number of education hours is equivalent to the number of hours you spent at the educational offering.
Educational hours are usually higher than the documented CEU hours. For example, you may spend 16 hours in a 2-day course but only receive 7 CEUs. You would claim 16 educational hours toward certification.
2. What are my options for obtaining 40 hours of education? Either I don’t have enough hours from in-person education or I don’t have access to in-person conferences.
There are many options to obtain education hours via online webinars. They can be completed live or, in many cases, later via a recording. For instance, NANT and several neonatal vendors offer online webinars. Part or all of the educational requirements for certification can be met via online education.
Applicants are free to structure their educational opportunities based on what works for them depending on their location, finances, and time restraints.
5. Do I need to provide specific documentation regarding dates and times of the neonatal therapy mentoring I have received?
No, for this requirement, you simply sign a statement stating that you have received the required mentoring hours.
6. What counts as mentoring and how can I achieve this?
All hours, going back to when you first became a therapist, in which another clinician guided you in appropriate practice in the NICU count as mentoring. This may include the following:
Time spent observing another therapist as you first transitioned into NICU practice.
Time spent conversing about a case with another NICU clinician. This includes participation in multidisciplinary rounding or disposition rounds with other professionals from whom you are learning how to better provide comprehensive care for an individual patient.
Time spent receiving support and guidance at the bedside from another therapist or care. For example, a therapist demonstrated how to do a specific intervention with an infant or a nurse demonstrated how an extremely low birthweight infant is transferred skin to skin and positioned on the parent.
Hours spent on the phone or email discussing NICU related topics with a colleague.
Utilize online social media resources to connect with other therapists and companies that support NICU learning.
Distance support can be helpful in accessing practice patterns from different parts of the country and connecting with mentors that may not be directly available to you in your area.
Hours spent listening to NANT Inner Circle Mentoring Calls or similar.
Hours spent learning from a physician, respiratory therapist, nurse or social worker in the NICU about things related to the care of the infant. For example, a physician explained different types of brain injury incurred in the neonatal period and how they may impact function.