Q: Why should I consider becoming certified?
A: Certification demonstrates mastery of a body of knowledge. That body of knowledge includes the concepts that allow technologist to evaluate, adapt and identify problems, and solve them. Obtaining your certification is the final step to becoming a nuclear medicine technologist who is recognized as having the knowledge necessary to perform all routine tasks and patient care in the nuclear medicine department with insight and understanding.
NMTCB’s nuclear medicine certification exam is written by experts in the field for that specific purpose. NMTCB’s entry level examination is a national standard recognized by the States, employers, insurance companies, those agencies that certify advanced medical imaging services (such as the IAC, ACR and The Joint Commission), professional organizations, and others as a valid, high-quality certification exam.
Many states already require certification and/or licensure for nuclear medicine technologists. In other states certification is still optional, but it is likely that certification will eventually become mandatory. Employment opportunities as a nuclear medicine technologist may be jeopardized by not obtaining and maintaining Active certification status.
An NMTCB certified technologist must do three things in order to maintain an active certification once they have passed the examination:
- Complete an annual renewal statement that includes answering required ethics questions.
- Comply with the NMTCB Continuing Competence policy, including by not limited to, obtaining 24 hours of acceptable Continuing Education credits every two years.
- Pay an Annual Renewal Fee.
Q: How can I become certified if I graduated from
school a long time ago?
A: You have five years from the date of your graduation from an accredited nuclear medicine program to take the entry-level exam.
This is an entry-level exam. If you’re a good technologist, you shouldn’t have any difficulty passing it. If you need a review, or a confidence boost, there are some good review books available from the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding NMTCB's CE Policy
Q: When do I start
A: The mandatory Continuing Education Policy began on January 1, 2006 and mandates that the certificant's first CE cycle begins the month that the certificant first passes the entry-level examination.
Q: How many
credits do I need to obtain?
A: The general rule of thumb is "1 credit per month." Your odd or even-year CE cycle is based on the year that you passed your first NMTCB exam. Your NMTCB certification card will have your original certification date on it to remind you of your certification year.
Normally, the CE cycle is 24 months, requiring a total of 24 hours of continuing education. There is one exception, however. NEWLY certified technologists may become certified part way through a CE cycle and will only be required to obtain continuing education based on the actual number of months in their first cycle. (From their certification date until the day before their birth month.)
Q: Can I change my
NMTCB CE reporting cycle to match my continuing education cycle with another organization?
A: Yes, each Certificant will be given a "ONE-TIME" option to change his or her CE cycle. Click on NMTCB CE Cycle Change Request Form to change your CE cycle.
Q: Once I change my reporting cycle, do I have
the option at a later date to change again?
A: When a Certificant selects the option to change his/her CE reporting cycle, the change will be noted in the Certificant's file. After changing his/her reporting cycle, if the Certificant wants to make another change, the request will be denied.
Q: I attended a CE program approved by the American Nursing Association.
May I use that toward my CE requirements?
A: No! If CE is approved by a nursing association but is not approved by any of the organizations listed in our CE Policy, that CE WILL NOT count toward your CE requirement. All CE must be approved by one of the organizations listed in our CE Policy. If it is not approved by one of them, it will not be accepted.
Q: Do I report my CE hours on a form or do I
only report my CE hours if I am audited?
A: Everyone will answer a question and sign his/her name regarding their compliance with the CE policy on the yearly certification renewals. A certificant who checks that he/she will not meet the CE requirements by the date specified will be automatically audited and will not receive a card. Certificants will also be randomly chosen for an audit of their CE records. Only audited individuals will be required to provide documentation of the CE activities for the previous two years within 60 days of the postmark on the letter from the NMTCB.
Q: Will the NMTCB accept a copy of my VOICE
transcript from the SNM or my ECE report from the ASRT?
A: Yes, if you are audited, NMTCB will accept a copy of your VOICE transcript from the Society of Nuclear Medicine, and/or a copy of your ECE report from the ASRT. You may also submit CE transcripts from the states that are included on the list of organizations that meet the NMTCB's criteria for awarding continuing education credits.
The NMTCB and the SNMTS have jointly developed a VOICE credit sharing program. Members of the SNMTS may sign up for this on the SNM website at www.snm.org. If you sign up for this program and are selected for a CE audit, the NMTCB will first check your VOICE credit history with the SNM. If, according to their records, you have met the CE requirement, you will not be required to respond to the audit. If we are unable to verify that you have fully met the CE requirement through the VOICE program, you will only be asked to document the CE hours you obtained outside of the VOICE program.
Q: What is the procedure if I am audited and do
not have the required amount of CEHs?
A: If a certificant is audited and fails to provide documentation and/or does not meet the CE requirements, he/she will be placed on six months probation, and will be required to complete the deficient CE hours for the audited cycle by the end of the probation period. If the certificant fails to meet all CE requirements by the end of the six-month probationary period, his/her certification will be suspended. If, after six months of suspension, the certificant fails to meet all CE requirements, he/she will have certification revoked. The CE credits obtained during the probation/suspension period will not be counted towards the 24 CE hours that are required for the subsequent two-year cycle. Please see the full CE Policy for the definition of revoked.
Q: If I have let my certification lapse, what is
the process I must follow to reinstate my certification?
A: A certificant who has not been active for less than five years may reactivate by completing both of the following requirements:
- Paying back dues up to a total of no more than the current examination fee, plus a $65 reactivation fee, AND
- Documentation of completion of 12 continuing education credits for each year he/she was not active/
A certificant who has not been active for five years or more must meet the current eligibility requirements and must pass the entry-level examination in order to reactivate. This shall be considered the equivalent of two years of continuing education, after which the certificant shall re-enter the two-year continuing education cycle.
Q: Will the NMTCB accept the same credits as
other credentialing agencies within the field of allied health?
A: Please refer to the official NMTCB Continuing Education Policy to see what will be accepted for your CE requirement. The NMTCB will only accept continuing education credits from the list of approved organizations listed in the Continuing Education Policy.
Q: What do I do if a credentialing organization
that I receive continuing education credits from is not on the approved
A:In order to become an approved source for continuing education, the requesting organization must submit a policy for the approval of continuing education that ensures that all of the following conditions are met:
- Each activity is presented by qualified individuals who have specific expertise in the subject matter.
- The subject matter is related to radiologic health sciences, education, patient care, business/management or related technology.
- There is a documented identifiable need for the specific activity.
- The exclusion of the following activities from being awarded continuing education credit:
- Attendance at routine department or staff meetings.
- Poster sessions and viewing exhibits.
- Elected office or committee meetings.
- Attendance at bowl competitions.
- Question and answer sessions.
- Informal case discussions/presentations.
- There are documented objectives that must have been met by the activity.
- There is documented evidence that each participant for whom credit is granted attended at least 80% of the activity.
- There is documented evidence by each participant that the activity did meet the stated objectives.
- Some type of documentation of participation is given to each qualified participant for their records and to demonstrate their participation to the NMTCB.
- Records of the activity, including all of the documentation listed above, are kept for at least three years should there be questions about the activity.
In addition, the organization must also submit a letter stating the organization's interest in becoming an approved CE granting organization for the NMTCB, the mission of the organization seeking recognition to approve CE activities and a listing of any medical education group that accredits this organization (i.e., ACCME).
Once this information is received, it will be presented to the Credentials Committee at their next regularly scheduled meeting for consideration. They will either grant approval rights, deny approval rights, or ask for revisions and/or proof of policy compliance.
Q: I am
a new graduate, when will I begin
acquiring my CEHs?
A: New graduates will need start acquiring acceptable Continuing Education credits immediately after passing the NMTCB exam. The general rule of thumb is "one credit per month" to maintain your CNMT requirements. To see your current CE cycle, please log in with your certificate number and last name here.
Q: Will NMTCB accept "Category B" credits?
A: The NMTCB will only accept credits from the organizations listed in the CE Policy. If a continuing education activity is approved by an organization listed in the policy, the NMTCB will accept it.