As a neonatal care provider, you know just how fragile these young lives are. While many of your newborn patients thrive outside the womb, others struggle to live, having been born too early or born with life-threatening complications. While Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certificate programs teach you how to care for children and adults of all ages who may require resuscitation, these classes do not cover your very youngest patients who often require life-saving maneuvers that are far different from what you might expect.
If you are a doctor, respiratory therapist, nurse or other health care professional working on a neonatal floor, in a newborn nursery, in your hospital’s NICU or in a labor and delivery unit, you may find that NRP certification gives you the skills and the confidence you need to advance your practice and save the lives of your youngest patients.
What Is NRP Certification?
NRP stands for Neonatal Resuscitation Program, and it is a certificate program put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This program is designed to give you the most up-to-date knowledge available on resuscitating newborns.
As a multi-step program, you will have lectures, self-study sessions and written as well as skills examinations before you are given your certificate for passing. While a full-day of lectures used to be expected, changes to the program in 2016 from the American Academy of Pediatrics shortened the classroom time, giving you more of a chance to study on your own and practice new skills in-person.
At the completion of your course, you will be expected to know a variety of categories related to neonatal resuscitation, including the following:
- Resuscitation steps
- Chest compressions
- Medication administration during resuscitation
- Preterm neonatal care
- End-of-life care for the neonatal patient
What Are the Benefits of NRP Certification? What Can I Do with My Certification?
There are many reasons why you may want to receive NRP certification. The most obvious reason would be that your health care organization or manager requires it. However, you may also want to take this course on your own to further your career, feel more confident in working with your youngest patients or position yourself to be a leader on your unit. This certification can also be helpful if you work in a leadership role in a more rural setting where you may be called upon to care for a variety of patients.
How Long Does NRP Certification Last?
NRP certification is valid for two years once you pass your test. To keep up your certification past this time, you will need to complete a shorter certification program and pass an additional test. Renewal classes are important because you will learn about any changes that the American Academy of Pediatrics has made to the resuscitation guidelines within that time.
How Can I Become NRP Certified?
Before you can take the course, you must complete a pre-examination online. Once you successfully complete this, you must take your NRP course within 30 days. This is an instructor-led course during which you will get to practice hands-on skills. Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics only recognizes in-person classes as valid for certification. Therefore, consider Project Heartbeat in Oakland or Sacramento for your initial NRP certification course. We look forward to working with you!