Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) use intravenous therapy to transport liquid medication and sedatives directly into patients' veins. Some community colleges offer certificate programs that are specifically designed to meet their state's requirements for LVNs to practice IV therapy.
IV therapy training programs for nurses are designed for individuals who are licensed in the field of nursing (i.e. passing the NCLEX-RN for nurses and the NCLEX-PN for LPNs). To gain licensure, individuals must first complete an appropriate training program. Incoming students must also have professional experience working in a clinical setting before they apply. IV therapy programs are vocational programs and contain only those courses that relate specifically to the process of IV therapy.
- Program Levels: IV Therapy certificate program
- Prerequisite: Must be a licensed nurse, either RN or LVN and have professional experience
- Other Requirements: Vary by state, may need to take an exam at the end of the program to have license updated
IV Therapy Training and Certification
IV therapy training programs provide an overview of the IV process and protocols. Students also learn about the physiology of the circulatory system, the particular veins appropriate for IV therapy, the types of medications commonly administered through IV therapy and the proper documentation protocols for administering IV therapy. IV therapy programs are vocational programs and contain only those courses that relate specifically to the process of IV therapy. Common courses include:
- IV therapy for LVNs
- Circulatory system
- Infection control
- IV medications
- Allergic reactions
- Medication breakdown
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
More than 695,610 licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses worked in nursing care facilities, hospitals and other healthcare centers in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary in the field as of May 2014 was $42,490. The top-paying states in the occupation were Connecticut, Massachusetts and Alaska. The need for LVN's and LPN's is projected to grow 25% from 2012 to 2022 according to the BLS.
Each state has its own certification requirements for nurses who administer IV therapy. Some certificate programs in the field contain an examination at the end of the courses. Students who pass the examination are eligible to have their nursing licensure updated to reflect their certification in IV therapy.