National Healthcareer Association

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The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is a national professional certification agency for healthcare workers in the United States.[1] Offering awards credentials in more than 10 allied health specialties, it is an organizational member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).[2] Founded in 1989, by Jon S. Brandt, an American entrepreneur, the National Healthcareer Association has partnered with educational institutions nationwide with over 200,000 certified individuals and over 1200 certification testing sites. It is one of the largest certification, continuing education and curriculum developers. [3] The National Healthcareer Association works with health training institutions, hospitals, unions, and the Defense Department through D.A.N.T.E.S.; it has approved over 1200 training/testing locations throughout the US and in several countries. These institutions offer health training programs, and use the national certification as their "End Of Program Credential." Healthcare professional certification is different from a license such as an Registered Nurse, or a licensed practical nurse. Although certification is not state mandated and/or regulated in all 50 states, most employers and industry organizations prefer their employees to be certified.[4] Whereas some states, like Louisiana, are agency specific and will not accept certification from NHA.


Where Certified Individuals Work

Certified technicians work alongside licensed nurses and/or doctors. These positions would include individuals working as a phlebotomist, EKG technician, clinical medical assistant, patient care technicians, medical laboratory assistants, medical transcriptionists, medical administrative assistants, billing and coding specialists, mental health technicians, and surgical/operating room technicians. Many hospitals, private practices, and organizations throughout the country require national certification as a competence standard. [3] The National Healthcareer Association is a part of the National Organization for Competency Assurance.[5][6] The National Healthcareer Association helps set performance ethics standards among health care professionals, establish education requirements, and set guidelines for national certifications.[3] The National Healthcareer Association launched the magazine Health Career Connect in September 2008.[7]

Continuing Education Requirements

Because of changes and updates in the healthcare industry, certified technicians are required to maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits throughout the year, or the duration of their certificate's expiration date. These continuing education credits or units (CEUs) can be earned through the certification agency or through their employer and then verified by the National Healthcareer Association. Continuing education ensures competency standards throughout the duration of employment of the certified individual, and keeps them aware of changes and new regulations in the allied healthcare industry.

Covered Certification Exams

The National Healthcareer Association writes, develops and publishes the certification exams for nine allied health professions: medical assistant, phlebotomy, EKG, mental health technician, pharmacy technician, medical billing and coding, administrative medical assistants, medical transcription and medical coding. 18 The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers a national certification for Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) aka a phlebotomist, as well as certificates for Clinical Medical Assistants (CCMA), Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS) and Patient Care Technicians (CPCT). The CPT and CCMA certifications include the EKG Technician certification (CET) and Phlebotomy Technician certification in one general certification.[8]

The National Healthcareer Association's Partnerships

National Health Career association has partnered with governments, universities and federal agencies to promote certification opportunities for their employees. Two examples of these relationships occurred with a state medical university in New Jersey and the Department of Defense's agency, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES).

The State of New Jersey's program was the Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) Program. It was an accelerated, three-week program for UH Nursing staff and shows the coordination that exists between the National Healthcareer Association and state and regional associations. The training and certification were sponsored by UMDNJ's Career Training and Advancement Center (CTAC), coordinated by the Department of Human Resources and grant-funded by the Bank of America.[9] CTAC and nursing leadership at the University Hospital worked closely with the National Healthcareer Association to develop a comprehensive program specific to the needs of the university. The CPCT model advanced the skills and competencies of incumbent Nursing Assistants in entry level positions within the nursing career ladder while instituting a new, team-based, patient care model. The new skills developed were phlebotomy, EKG/ECG, basic patient care and medical assisting skills.[9]

The Department of Defense's agency, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), offers the National Healthcareer Association's (NHA) certification exams at all 520 DANTES test sites worldwide. The National Healthcareer Association's partnership with DANTES offered new opportunities to the thousands of military trainees as well as experienced medical personnel stationed around the world.[10][11]

Global Expansion

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the largest Allied Health Certification Agency in the USA and the National Lutheran Health and Medical Board (NLHMB), Chennai, India, which is a leading NGO and sponsor of Two Universities have come together to offer the US employment National Healthcareer Association Certificate Examiion in India. [12]

Award Nominations

The National Healthcareer Association was a finalist at the Stevie Awards for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program in 2008.[13] Jon S. Brandt was named one of the 25 most influential people in the career college sector by Career College Central Magazine in March 2008.[citation needed]


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