The average time it takes for a licensed vocational nurse to complete an IV therapy certification is one to four days, with 27 hours devoted to theory and nine hours devoted to clinical work. IV certification is only offered to licensed nurses.
In IV therapy, medicine, liquids and blood are directly injected into the vein through a needle. The IV therapy certification course includes hands-on training with mannequins. Topics covered include medication administration and infection control, central line use, patient assessment, TPN therapy and electrolytes, as well as blood and plasma.
When training is completed on the mannequins, some programs offer the option for the nurses to practice inserting the IV needle on one another. They must complete three successful venipunctures, or blood withdrawals, and three successful capillary sticks on a live human.
Certification programs and requirements differ from state to state. Some certification programs have an examination at the end of the course. Once the student passes the examination, she receives an updated nursing license that reflects her new certification. Once the course is completed, the approval must be processed, which can take anywhere from two to eight weeks. In the meantime, nurses receive a copy of the document that gets sent to the board for approval.