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Interested in becoming an IBCLC without an RN...educational requirements

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I currently have my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. So although I have the required college courses of psychology, sociology, biology and the likes, I still need to enroll in about 7 other courses. Has anybody gone through this and taken individual online courses to become an IBCLC? I do NOT want to get my RN. I have been doing homework for weeks and am very interested in taking the exam. I just don't know where to start when it comes to finishing the required college courses. I notice some online schools have one class that I need but then they don't have the other. Advice and personal experiences would be greatly appreciated :)

post #2 of 7
Hi ashleyfreeman! Welcome to Mothering! I don't know much about the current requirements to be an IBCLC, but most of the ones I know are not RN's. They did the coursework and practical hours but no nursing programs. Good luck! It's a very important but tough job.
post #3 of 7

Here's the link to the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. They are the ONLY body that certifies IBCLCs.





Certification eligibility:







Preparing for certification




application info including fees





These are some pages, so you want to click around the site and get all the Pathways and prerequisites to read. You can also ask for a packet and talk to people at the IBLCE. Most candidates take 3-5 years to complete their coursework, patient contact hours, reading, studying etc before they sit for the Boards. You must complete all your coursework, CERPS, patient contact hours etc in 5 years or less (it was 3 years when I first did it, but I've been doing this a long time) and becoming a member of LLL really helps so you can go to conferences to get CERPS.


Good luck.

Edited by MaggieLC - 1/15/14 at 8:00am
post #4 of 7

Same boat here, so interested in any replies.  I do not know of any non-HCP who has taken the exam since they upped the educational requirements for 2011, and obviously it excludes those like you and me who may have the experience and lactation-specific training but not the college-level health science courses.  In many countries it's pretty much impossible to fulfil the requirements without taking a whole new degree in e.g. nursing, midwifery, medicine.  I was however hoping that online education providers would make a package of courses available to English-speakers, but like you I haven't found all subjects offered in one place.


The IBLCE accepts CLEP and DSST equivalency exams, so if you're in the US these may be options open to you for some subjects (from only a quick look, again it seems that only a few relevant subjects are covered).


Good luck!

post #5 of 7

I feel bad that some of the requirements were changed. Sadly, there were some people who weren't qualified somehow getting through, passing the Boards and there were problems with the way they were practicing.


It is difficult for those of us who are Board Certified, too. Every 5 years we either have to take many additional CERPS, which are difficult to find and have become very expensive, or retake the Boards every 5 years if we haven't been able to afford enough CERPS. Even if you have the CERPS and have been practicing for years, you have to re-take the Boards at the least every 10 years. It's expensive and time consuming. Even most physicians don't have to REtake their boards this often, and their Continuing Education Credits are paid for by the hospital or office they work for, for those of us who don't work in hospitals, we're on our own for paying for CERPS and the Boards. I don't understand why it's done this way.

post #6 of 7

I also don't know of any non-RN that has taken it since the change in requirements. I am an RN but sat for the exam prior to the change. The CERPs another poster mentioned also kicks my butt. I need to average about 25 a year which runs me usually 300 a year out of pocket, that is dirt cheap compared to others options. The expenses add up quickly when the pay scale for IBCLCs is low. I don't have to retake my nursing boards like how I do for my IBCLC! It is my five year next calendar year so I will use my CERPs to renew and honestly at this rate, I do not see myself willing to do this again at 10 years and sit for the boards again. 

post #7 of 7

That is a goofy system! I bet that drives people off. I (pharmacist) have to submit CE every 3 years but I never have to retake the boards unless either my license lapses for a significant period of time or I want to get licensed in another state, and in that case I only need to take the law boards in that state. And our CE is pretty easy to find. Lots of magazines and websites have it for free. And if board certified we have several options to recertify, 

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