FAQs – Application
1. When can I apply and how long will the certification process take?
- Application deadlines are May 15th and November 15th.
- We suggest gathering all the documentation required prior to your submission to expedite your application.
- Within 90 days of each application deadline, applicants will receive notification about eligibility for certification examination administration. Applicants will receive an email with detailed information on how to register to take the examination at a local testing center
- International applicants may require additional processing time.
- If an incomplete application is received, the therapist will be notified that additional documentation is needed and will have 30 days to submit it.
- The examination must be taken within 6 months of notification of eligibility to sit for the exam. Failure to do may result in additional fees determined by the NTCB.
2. How much does certification cost?
- Costs have been established to meet the minimum cost of running a certification process for neonatal therapists.
Application Fee: $250.00
- The application fee is due at the time of application submission.
Examination Fee: $400.00
- Examination fees will be accepted after the applicant has received notification from the NTCB that all applicant requirements have been satisfied, indicating the applicant is eligible to take the examination
3. What is the refund policy for fees paid the NTCB?
- Fees are accepted by electronic payment through the applicant portal. No cash, checks, or money orders will be accepted as payment. Fees paid by the applicant for certification, examination, and recertification are non-refundable.
4. Are therapists from other countries outside the United States allowed to apply for certification?
- International applications are welcomed.
- International applicants will be required to demonstrate education, professional certification, qualifications and neonatal experience commensurate with that required of neonatal therapists in the United States.
- Applicants may need to facilitate the process of verification of credentialing from their country’s credentialing body.
- An official translation into English is required for all submitted documents that are in a foreign language.
- International applicants will be evaluated for eligibility for certification on a case-by-case basis.
- The application review may require additional time.
- If the applicant practices in a country that does not issue a professional credential to practice, the applicant must provide information regarding the standard requirements necessary in order to practice neonatal therapy in that location including evidence of being in compliance with that standard practice requirement during the three years prior to applying for certification. Please contact the NTCB via email at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding any specific questions related to this process.
5. What are the specific criteria for documentation of professional education?
- Professional education hours must be NICU-specific.
- Only 40 hours of professional education should be submitted.
- The title, presenter and hours of each course must be included. If the course consisted of multiple presenters, the name of the organizer or person who has signed the certificate of attendance should be entered.
- Teaching of courses does not count towards this requirement for certification.
- The professional education hours needed to have occurred within the previous 3 year period prior to applying.
- Time spent participating in a journal club or completing individual review of articles DO NOT count towards the education requirement.
- Professional education hours submitted will be calculated up to the date of application. For example, if you are applying for certification in November 2020, you may submit documentation of having received professional education hours from November 2017 through November 2020.
- Documentation submitted for professional hours not included during this period will not be considered toward meeting this requirement.
- If you are selected for audit by the NTCB, you will be required to provide certificates or receipts of attendance for these 40 hours.
6. How do I prove I have had mentoring?
- 40 hours of mentoring are required for certification. You will sign a statement indicating you have met this requirement. No other specific documentation is required.
- Both NANT and APTA have mentoring programs. Local and regional hospitals may also be able to provide assistance.
- Mentoring can be provided by another neonatal care provider such as a therapist, physician, respiratory therapist, nurse or social worker.
7. How is the professional experience requirement met if a neonatal therapist works full-time vs. part-time hours?
- A minimum of 3 years must have elapsed since you entered work as a credentialed PT, OT, or SLP.
- A minimum of 3500 direct practice hours in a level II, III, or IV NICU as a neonatal therapist are required to meet this requirement, regardless of full-time or part-time employment status.
- Hours of direct clinical practice in the NICU are calculated based on an average amount of time worked in the NICU during a typical work week and are not based on billable units.
A therapist working 40 hours per week or full time in the NICU may be able to achieve the required hours in 1.7 years, but must have practiced as a credentialed professional for a minimum of 3 years.
A therapist working approximately 20 hours per week or part time in the NICU may be able to achieve the requirement in 3.4 years.
If the therapist worked an average of 10 hours per week in the NICU, it may take 6.8 years to achieve this requirement.
8. How do I verify my clinical practice hours?
- On the online application, you will specify the number of hours and dates you have worked in the NICU. If audited, this information will be verified with the hospital(s) you identify.
9. What types of files can be uploaded to the portal?
- Acceptable file formats include PDF and JPEG files, unless otherwise specified on the download page. Please make sure to check the maximum file size specified in each upload section before attempting to upload your files.
10. Can other professionals, such as music therapists and psychologists, become Certified Neonatal Therapists?
- The CNT designation is specifically for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. This is based on practice statements from the American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, and American Speech and Hearing Association, as well as the Core Scope of Practice from the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. The common core knowledge (across PT, OT, and SLP) needed for safe and effective practice is assessed through the certification process.
11. Can hours from the PICU or follow-up clinic be counted toward certification?
- Based on the 2019 practice analysis and careful consideration, in 2020 the Board approved the use of up to 1000 hours to include service to infants < 3 months in other areas of the hospital or in follow-up clinics.
12. Do I need to be a member of NANT to be eligible?
- A NANT membership is not a requirement; however, membership may be desirable in order to gain access to educational opportunities, mentoring and collaboration.