News brief

New telephone triage exam is offered

Telephone triage nurses, take note: There now is a way to demonstrate your specialized skills to both patients and employers. A new certification examination in telephone nursing practice is offered by the Chicago-based National Certification Corp. for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties.

If you perform telephone triage using protocols, policies, documentation, and quality improvement, you should consider taking the exam, says Valerie Grossman, BSN, CEN, nursing director of medical/surgical services for ViaHealth of Wayne in Newark, NY, and chair of the Telephone Nursing Practice Content Team. The certification provides a standard and a public demonstration of expertise for employers, says Grossman. "It also gives confidence to patients regarding the qualifications of those providing telephone advice or telephone triage," she states.

Just as CEN or CCRN shows a certain level of expertise in the ED, the RNC credential will do the same for telephone nursing practice, says Grossman.

Telephone nursing’ grows

There is a trend toward telephone triage as a growing part of nursing practice, says Grossman. "Telephone health care is occurring everywhere," she reports. "Like everything else, some programs are well-run with proficient staff, while some programs are run poorly."

Having the certification will demonstrate that you have met a level of expertise, says Grossman. "Performing telephone nursing is much more than just answering a telephone," she adds.

The cost of the exam is $250. Certification is awarded for a period of three years and can be maintained by obtaining 45 hours of continuing education in telephone nursing practice or by re-examination. Nurses with two years of experience in telephone nursing and who have been working in telephone nursing in the last 24 months are eligible to take the examination.

[Editor’s Note: The examination will be given Sept. 21 (filing deadline Aug. 3) and Dec. 7, 2001 (filing deadline Oct. 19). There are about 50 sites offered each time the test is given, and special sites can be set up for 10 or more applicants. To have a registration catalog faxed to you, call (800) 367-5613. For more information about the exam, contact: National Certification Corp. for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties, 645 N. Michigan, No. 900, Chicago, IL 60611. Telephone: (312) 951-0207. E-mail: Web:]