Once you pass the National Examination for Nurse-Midwifery and Midwifery, you will be certified as a CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife) or a CM (Certified Midwife). However, this certification will only last for 5 years. It is imperative that midwives do not stop learning once they earn a certification. They will need to complete a series of continuing education programs to keep their certification status.Keeping Your CNM and CM Certification Status
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) has developed the Certificate Maintenance Program (CMP) as part of the recertification process. The goal is not to cram all of the continuing education requirements into the last 3 months of your certification. AMCB wants midwives to work on their recertification during the entire 5 year status period. This will allow a midwife to provide an even higher level of care to her patients and periodically refresh her skills.
As long as you keep your certification status current, you will not have to retake the National Examination for Nurse-Midwifery and Midwifery. Midwives will need to complete 3 modules and 2.0 CEU’s in order to keep their status current. Modules are designed and administered by AMCB. An annual fee is charged to cover the cost of these modules. CEU’s can be completed at an accredited school or university.
AMCB has created a series of modules to help midwives stay current in critical areas of the field. Candidates must take one module in each of the following practice areas: Gynecology and Primary Care of the Well Woman, Antepartum, and Intrapartum / Newborn Care. Each module is made up of 18 – 20 current articles, along with reference lists. Candidates will be required to review the material and then take an open-book test. To receive credit, you must answer at least 75% of the questions correctly. The tests are not designed to be difficult. Answers will come directly from the materials provided.
Each module is active for 34 months. If you fail the open-book test, you are able to retake it again. However, you only get 2 attempts to pass the test. If you are unable to pass, you will need to pass a different module in the same practice area.
Modules are only scored two times a year. Scores are sent out 30 – 60 days after the scoring window closes. Keep this in mind as you are deciding when to complete this recertification requirement. Even if you completed the modules before your certification expires, they may not count. If AMCB receives your answer sheets after the year’s last scoring window, they will not be scored or counted towards the requirement.
Candidates must earn 2.0 CEU’s to recertify. This equates to 20 contact hours. AMCB will accept CEU credits earned from the AMA, NPWH, AANP, ACNM, ACCME, or ACPE. Make every effort to earn CEU’s in the 7 major content areas of the exam: Intrapartum Care, Antepartum Care, Well Woman / Gynecology, Primary Care, Newborn Care, Postpartum, or Professional Issues. CEU’s that are mandatory for renewing licenses or complying with state regulations will not be accepted.
Always keep copies of your certificate of completion along with the course’s syllabus or written objectives. AMCB will not allow you to submit documentation that you completed these classes or programs. Instead, they will conduct random audits and ask for the information. If you are unable to provide sufficient proof that you completed the CEU, you will not receive credit.
You may have forgotten to take the modules and your certification status expired. AMCB will allow you to become certified once again. However, the process will be slightly different. Passing modules will not be required. Passing the National Certification Exam for Nurse-Midwifery and Midwifery will be required. You will have to pay another exam registration fee too. Then, a series of continuing education contact hours will need to be completed. Only ACNM / ACCME hours will be accepted. An average of 10 contact hours must be completed for each year since the date of your last certification. You will not be able to claim certification status until each of these requirements has been completed. If you do claim to be certified, AMCB can take action against you.
Keeping Your Certification Current
Once you pass the Medical Technologist Exam and complete certain education and experience requirements you will become a certified medical technologist. You can proudly proclaim your certification status on your resume. You can display your certificate on your office wall for all your co-workers to see. However, your certification status is only valid for 3 years. Then, you will have to re-certify your credentials.
The American Medical Technologists (AMT) requires certification in order to keep candidates current with the latest trends in the industry. A technologist cannot just pass the Medical Technologist Exam and stop learning and growing. Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 45 education points throughout the three year period. You will not be required to take the Medical Technologist Exam to re-certify. AMT is confident that once you pass the exam you will retain that entry-level knowledge.
There are a variety of different ways you can earn these 45 education points. Consider picking items that will not only help you, but your employer too. Your employer may even help you pay for the class or workshop if you can show how it would help improve your job performance. Here is a look at the different categories you can choose from.
- Professional Development (Maximum 45 points) – Traditional continuing education programs like structured learning, self-study programs, seminars, workshops, conferences, or in-service training would be included in this category. Many of these programs are offered directly through AMT. However, the program you take must be relevant to a medical technologist’s job. You earn 1 point for every hour of continuing education you complete. Make sure you have some sort of written documentation that you completed or attended the program.
- Formal Education (Maximum 45 points) – You can take formal courses at colleges, universities, or junior colleges. The course must be relevant to your job and you must earn a passing grade. So, you could take chemistry, microbiology, or hematology related classes. You earn 5 points per semester hour or 3 points per quarter hour. AMT may ask to see your transcripts as proof that you passed the class.
- Employer Verification (Maximum 30 points) – You are able to earn credit by just being employed as a medical technologist. 10 points are awarded for each year of continuous employment. Your employer will be required to fill out AMT’s Employer Verification Form.
- Authorship of Written Works (No maximum points) – Writing articles or reports relevant to your job can earn you points. These must be published works, not memos or letters you wrote on behalf of your department. For each written work, you can earn 10 points. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn. AMT may ask to see copies of your work.
- Instructional Presentations (No maximum points) – Throughout your career, you may prepare or present presentations at conferences or educational institutions. If these presentations are relevant to your job function, you can earn points. Even though you may give the presentation 5 different times, you are only able to earn the points once. Each presentation is worth 7 points. AMT may ask to see a copy of the presentation or the program that lists you as a presenter.
- Organizational Participation (Maximum 21 points) – As a medical technologist, you may decide to join a few professional medical organizations. You can earn points if you are a working committee or board member for these organizations. 7 points are awarded for each year of service. AMT may require documentation from the organization that you actually are working for them.
AMT has developed an automated system that allows you to keep track of your points. The AMTrax system allows you to enter points each time you complete an activity. You are not allowed to submit any documentation proving that you completed the activity. AMT will randomly audit individuals and ask for proof throughout the year. So, you need to make sure you keep your documentation handy. If you fail to enter your activities into the system, you will receive a letter reminding you about compliance. Failure to complete the 45 points in 3 years will result in your certification status being revoked.
Keeping Your Certified Medical Assistant Status
Once you pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam, you will officially become a certified medical assistant. This certification can help you land better jobs and earn an even higher salary. However, your certification status will only last 60 months.
To keep your certification current, you can either retake the CMA exam or earn continuing education credits. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) allows you to choose the option that works best for your career goals. However, you will only be able to pick one of these options. You cannot take the CMA exam, fail it three times, and then take continuing education classes to meet the requirements.
It is important to give yourself plenty of time to take the CMA exam or earn your continuing education credits. Your certification ends on the last calendar month day of your 60 month certification period. If you fail to complete the requirements, your certification will be cancelled. If you are caught claiming you are certified and your status has lapsed, serious consequences can occur.
Each candidate will be required to submit an application to AAMA for recertification, regardless of the option you choose. Your application must be submitted at least 90 days before your certification expires. Candidates will also be required to prove they are certified in CPR. A copy of their CPR card and documentation indicating the length of the program must be sent in with the application. CPR documentation will only be accepted from organizations that meet or exceed the American Red Cross or American Heart Association’s provider level courses. Some people are unable to perform CPR due to physical limitations. AAMA will take that into consideration, but you must attach a note from your physician.
Taking the CMA Exam for Recertification
You are able to retake the CMA exam for recertification. The exam will be the same one taken by individuals who are trying to become certified. However, don’t expect this exam to be the exact same exam you took to earn your initial certification. The exam questions will be different, but the general content will be the same.
It is important that you spend time studying for your recertification exam. You will have to pay a registration fee to sit for the exam. (AAMA members will receive a discount). You may have a short window to pass this exam. It all depends on when you submit your re-certification application. AAMA states that you must pass the CMA exam at least two months before your certification expires. This will prevent any lapses in your certification status.
Earning Continuing Education Credits for Recertification
Many certified medical assistants will earn continuing education credits to keep their certification status. Medical assistants are constantly learning. They can be rewarded for that learning with education credits. These continuing education credits are not earned during the last few months of certification. They are earned throughout the 60 month period.
You must earn a minimum of 60 education points in order to be recertified. Only 30 points will need to be earned from AAMA continuing education approved programs. AAMA requires you to earn 10 points in each of the following categories: general, administrative, and clinical. The remaining 30 points can be earned in areas that you identify. Official documentation will be required to prove that you earned these points.
AAMA approved education points can be earned through their self-study programs, attending workshops or conferences, taking tests via their e-learning center, or completing CEU exams in their CMA Today Magazine. You are able to earn all 60 points directly through AAMA. If you choose to earn your remaining 30 points outside of AAMA, you will need to follow certain requirements. AAMA has developed the Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting booklet to help you choose relevant subject matter.
Continuing education can be very beneficial to your career growth. Everyone has a few areas they need to improve on. Talk with the doctor or even the office manager to see which areas they want you to improve in. Then, go take a class or attend a workshop. They will be impressed with your initiative and dedication to improve your career. Plus, you can list these continuing education programs on your resume to give your credentials an added boost.