Now is the Time to Become a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT)

By By: Eilish Byrne, DSc, PT, PCS, CNT Member, NTNCB

Have you ever wondered about the educational and professional background of your fellow neonatal therapists and how neonatal therapists enter the advanced practice area of the NICU? Read on to learn more from an international survey!

Pineda et al., (2019) published findings from 468 survey respondents (47% OT, 31% PT, 22% SLP). Neonatal therapists from all 50 states were represented, and there were survey respondents from 10 different countries. The survey results confirmed that there are at least 468 neonatal therapists world-wide who substantiated that advanced practice skills are required in the NICU. Practice settings varied depending on whether the NICU was housed outside of or i

nside a children’s and/or teaching hospital, and scope of service ranged from providing only consultative services in the NICU to being part of a dedicated NICU team with 100% of a caseload in the NICU. At the time of the survey, in 2016, there was no process to officially recognize training and competency of neonatal therapists. Therapists often received very little education about the NICU in their academic programs, stating that they typically learned NICU specific topics through webinars, in person courses, and conferences. In addition, on-the-job training and experience with a mentor were noted as important aspects of the learning experience when becoming a neonatal therapist. Most (88%) believed accountability and oversight are important, and almost all (98%) of survey respondents indicated that they were interested in neonatal therapy certification.

Since this survey was conducted, a process of neonatal therapy certification has been launched! The process to become a CNT requires a minimum of 3 years work experience as a licensed professional, 3500 hours of direct clinical work in the NICU, 40 hours of mentored experiences in the NICU, 40 hours of NICU-specific education within the last 3 years, and a passing score on the Neonatal Therapy National Certification Examination. There are now close to 350 CNTs worldwide!

The top 3 reasons why you should become a CNT now:

  1. Finally, a standardized approach to establishing baseline competency and skill validation in the NICU exists!
  1. The NTNCB has worked hard to keep the cost of certification down in order to make it more accessible, and the price has not increased since it was launched in 2016. In order to accommodate the true cost of running a certification program, the price will increase in 2020. Apply before November 15th to take advantage of the last application cycle at the 2016 price!
  1. The CNT credential is a source of pride and identifies those who have validated that they have the skills and knowledge to provide care for infants in the NICU. In addition, CNTs receive a wealth of up-to-date and evidence-based resources and references to keep.

Don’t wait any longer to become a CNT! Apply before the deadline of November 15th.

To access the neonatal therapy practice analysis, click this link.

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