The American Institute of Health Care Professionals
“Dedicated to Continued Learning, Growth, and Achievement in Healthcare Practice”
Divisions of the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals
Click the links below for information about our online Certifications and Fellowship Programs
- The American College Of Hypnotherapy
- The American Academy of Grief Counseling
- The American Academy of Case Management
- The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting
- The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates
- AIHCP Fellowship Programs
- Anger Management Specialist Certification
- Attention Deficit Consulting Certification
- Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification
- Crisis Intervention Counseling Certification
- EFT & Meridian Energy Health Tapping Certification
- The Emotional Freedom Technique Training Seminar
- Forensic Nursing Practice Certification
- Grief Christian Counseling Certification
- Grief Counseling Fellowship Program
- Grief Support Group Certified Specialist
- Grief Support Practitioner Certification
- Health Care Life Coach Certification
- Health Care Manager Certification
- Holistic & Integrative Health Care Practice Certification
- Meditation Instructor Certification
- Nursing Management Certification
- Nurse-Patient Educator Certification
- Pastoral Thanatology Certification
- Pet Loss Grief Support Specialist Certification
- Spiritual Christian Counseling Certification
- Spiritual Counseling Certification
- Stress Management Consulting Certification
- Substance Abuse Practitioner Certification
What is Certification?
“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1
Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization. Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.
Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing. Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.” Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.
Why Achieve a Certification?
“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2 Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.
Report findings published on Nurse.com revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hirable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3
While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.
A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame. Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.
The AIHCP CE Model for Certification
The Model for Certification at the American Institute of Health Care Professionals is one based on a core curriculum of focused Continuing Education (CE) Courses. We feel strongly that the conferral of a professional certification requires the attainment of current knowledge and skills in a specialty practice and those who achieve certification should all have the same educational achievements and knowledge/skill base. We insure this by modeling our Certification programs on student’s achievements in a strong curriculum of continuing education in order to achieve our professional Certifications.
Why is continuing education important as a foundation of our model? There are several reasons why continuing education is important for health care professionals. First, it helps them keep up with the latest advances in their field. Second, it helps them maintain their skills and knowledge. Third, it helps them stay current with changes in the healthcare industry. Fourth, it helps them meet their licensure requirements. Finally, it helps them improve their patient care skills. With the rapid pace of change in the medical world, it is essential for health care professionals to keep abreast of new developments in order to provide the best possible care for their patients.
Another reason that we proposed continuing education courses as the foundation of our Certification model is that the benefits of continuing education courses are numerous. For one, they can keep you abreast of the latest developments in your field, which can be beneficial both professionally and personally. Additionally, they can help you network with other professionals in your field, which can lead to new opportunities. Finally, continuing education courses can simply be enjoyable and enriching, providing student candidates with a chance to learn new things and explore different topics.
Our model consists of several types of continuing education courses. Many of our CE courses are self-directed and self-paced with faculty-mentoring as required by the student candidates. Students utilize text books for the course and very often supplemental learning materials such as course handouts, articles and videos. Other types of courses we have include online video on demand lectures courses that provide for printable copies of the slides used in the videos.
All of our CE courses have examinations that must be successfully completed in order for students to receive credit for the courses and also receive a CE Course Certificate. Most all of the examinations on taken right online with a computerized system and are objective-type questions such as multiple choice and true/false questions. Students take the examination online and once completed receive immediate feedback of their examination score and the questions they may have missed including what the correct responses are to missed questions. Students must complete a comprehensive online course evaluation in order to receive their CE Course Certificate. Students may communicate with their course instructors regarding any questions they have about the examination both pre and post-test taking.
All of our CE Courses are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. We are an accredited provider of continuing education for the California Board of Registered Nursing. For many of our CE Courses we also have Board of Nursing Approval by the Florida Board of Nursing and the DC Board of Nursing. As well we are a Rule Approved Provider for CE by the following Boards of Nursing: Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and New Mexico. The AIHCP is also an Approved Provider for Continuing Education by the South Carolina Professional Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists licensing board. Our core Grief Counseling Courses are also co-sponsored by AMEDCO which is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team and thus has American Psychological Association (APA) approval for these courses.
Upon successful completion of our CE Courses, our student candidates receive a full-sized Course CE Certificate with the full name of the course, date of completion, number of earned contact hours as well as all Board and Organizational approvals for the course. As our student candidates are generally health care professionals they have the added benefit of being able to use their earned CE Course contact hours for their State re-licensing CE requirements and many can use them for their CE requirements for recertifications in other professionals organizations.
Our foundational model of CE for Certification is also based on the importance to stay current in the health care field as changes in technology and treatments occur rapidly. As a health care professional, you need to be able to provide the best possible care for your patients. Staying current also allows you to keep up with the latest guidelines and standards of care. Additionally, new research is constantly emerging that can impact patient care.
In conclusion, our foundational model of continuing education courses for certification for health care professionals is important in order to keep up with the latest advancements in health care. They also help to refresh and update the skills of those who have been working in the field for many years. All of our courses can be taken online and are self-paced for the student candidate’s easy of self-paced learning and many employers offer financial assistance to employees who enter our programs.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_certification October 2018. Page 1.
- https://www.collegetransfer.net/AskCT/WhatisProfessionalCertification/ October 2018
- https://www.nurse.com/blog/2018/03/14/enjoy-the-perks-of-nurse-certification/ October 2018