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Top 11 Medical Instructor Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for medical instructors to help them hone their skills and advance their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for a medical instructor in the job market for several reasons. First, certifications demonstrate to employers that the medical instructor has the knowledge and skills necessary to teach in this field. This helps employers make sure that they are hiring a qualified professional who can handle teaching medical courses effectively.

Second, certifications provide recognition and credibility to the medical instructor’s credentials, making them more attractive to potential employers. This is especially true for instructors who are looking to work at larger institutions or hospitals. Having a certification from an accredited organization shows that the instructor is committed to their profession and has put in the effort to obtain and maintain their qualifications.

Finally, certifications can open up opportunities for advancement within the profession. Many organizations recognize certified instructors as having higher levels of expertise than those without certifications and may offer them increased responsibilities or even promotions. Additionally, having a certification may also make it easier for instructors to transfer between different institutions or healthcare facilities.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Medical Instructors and discuss how they can enhance a Medical Instructor's career.

What are Medical Instructor Certifications?

Medical instructor certification is a type of professional credential that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to teach in a medical setting. This certification is typically achieved through completing an approved course of study in medical education, passing a comprehensive examination, or having significant experience teaching in a medical environment.

Medical instructor certification can be beneficial for those looking to advance their career by obtaining an official recognition of their expertise in medical instruction. Having this credential can open up opportunities for teaching at universities, colleges, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. It may also provide increased job security and improved salary potential. Additionally, certified instructors are often considered more qualified than non-certified instructors when it comes to providing students with quality instruction.

Having this certification can also help build credibility and trust among colleagues, employers, patients, and the public. It demonstrates that the individual has the knowledge and experience needed to provide effective instruction on various topics related to medicine. Furthermore, this certification can serve as a valuable professional asset when applying for jobs or promotions within the field of medicine.

Pro Tip: When looking for a medical instructor certification program, make sure to research the program’s accreditation status. Accreditation is an important indicator of a quality program, and can help ensure that you are receiving the best education and training possible.

Related: What does a Medical Instructor do?

Top 11 Medical Instructor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Medical Instructors today.

1. Certified Medical Education Specialist (CMES)

A Certified Medical Education Specialist (CMES) is a professional credential that recognizes an individual’s expertise in medical education. This certification is awarded by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). To obtain this certification, one must have a minimum of three years of experience teaching in a medical school or related setting, and must pass the CMES exam.

The exam consists of two parts: Part I covers general topics such as learning theory, curriculum design, assessment methods, and educational technology; Part II covers content-specific topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical medicine. The total cost for the exam is $400. It takes approximately four hours to complete both parts.

In order to maintain the CMES certification, individuals must recertify every five years by completing continuing education activities and passing the recertification exam. The cost for recertification is $200.

2. Certified Medical Instructor (CMI)

Certified Medical Instructor (CMI) is a certification program offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It is designed to recognize medical professionals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and instruction. The CMI credential is awarded to those who have completed an approved educational program, passed a comprehensive exam, and met other requirements.

The CMI certification requires completion of an approved medical assistant education program, which typically takes between six months and two years to complete. After completing the program, applicants must pass the AAMA's Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CMA-A) with a score of at least 75%. Applicants must also meet additional requirements such as having at least one year of full-time experience as a medical assistant or related health care professional within the past five years.

To obtain the CMI credential, applicants must submit an application and fee to the AAMA. The current cost for the CMI application is $150. Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their CMI certificate in approximately four weeks.

The Certified Medical Instructor (CMI) credential is valid for three years from the date of issue and can be renewed by submitting proof of continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee.

3. Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE)

Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize excellence in the field of healthcare simulation education. The CHSE certification is awarded by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and is designed to validate an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities as a healthcare simulation educator.

The CHSE certification process consists of two parts: an online application and an in-person assessment. The online application requires applicants to provide information about their educational background, experience with healthcare simulation, and other qualifications. After submitting the application, applicants must take and pass a proctored exam at a designated testing site. The exam covers topics such as patient safety, team building, teaching strategies, debriefing techniques, and more.

It typically takes 3-4 months from the time of application submission to receive your CHSE certification results.

To get certified as a CHSE, you must first complete the online application process. Once your application has been approved by SSH, you will be sent instructions on how to register for the proctored exam at a designated testing site. You must then take and pass this exam before receiving your CHSE certification results.

The cost of obtaining the CHSE certification varies depending on whether you are an SSH member or non-member. For members of SSH, the cost is $495 USD; for non-members it is $595 USD.

4. Certified Clinical Instructor (CCI)

Certified Clinical Instructor (CCI) is a professional certification program for healthcare professionals who provide clinical instruction and supervision. It is designed to recognize the expertise of those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in teaching, assessing and evaluating clinical skills. The CCI program is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

The program consists of two parts: an online course and an on-site assessment. The online course provides a comprehensive review of the core competencies required to be a successful clinical instructor. Topics covered include: patient safety, communication skills, teaching methods, assessment techniques, and more. The on-site assessment includes both written and practical components that evaluate the candidate's ability to provide effective instruction and supervision in the clinical setting.

It typically takes 6-8 weeks to complete the CCI program. To get started, you must first register with AAMA and pay the registration fee ($125). You will then receive access to the online course materials which you can complete at your own pace. Once you have completed the online course, you will need to schedule an appointment for your on-site assessment at one of AAMA's approved testing centers.

The cost for the CCI program varies depending on where you live but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD including registration fees and exam fees.

5. American Heart Association Instructor Certification

American Heart Association Instructor Certification is a program designed to train individuals to teach American Heart Association courses. The certification process includes completing an instructor course, passing the written exam, and demonstrating proficiency in teaching skills.

The instructor course typically takes two days to complete and covers topics such as adult learning principles, AHA guidelines, and teaching techniques. After successful completion of the instructor course, the participant must pass a written exam with a score of 80% or higher. Once the written exam is passed, the participant will demonstrate their teaching skills in front of an AHA faculty member who will evaluate their performance.

To become an AHA certified instructor you must be at least 18 years old and have current certification in one or more AHA courses (such as CPR/AED). You must also attend an AHA-approved instructor course and pass both the written exam and teaching skills assessment with a score of 80% or higher.

The cost for becoming an AHA certified instructor varies depending on where you take your instructor course. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$400 for the entire certification process.

6. American Red Cross Instructor Certification

The American Red Cross Instructor Certification is a program that allows individuals to become certified instructors who can teach Red Cross courses. This certification is designed for those who want to teach and train others in first aid, CPR, AED, water safety, and other related topics.

To become an American Red Cross Instructor, you must first complete the online instructor course. The course takes approximately 8 hours to complete and costs $100. Once the online course is completed, you will need to attend a practical skills session with an American Red Cross instructor trainer. During this session, you will practice teaching techniques and demonstrate your ability to effectively teach the material. After completing the practical skills session, you will receive your American Red Cross Instructor Certification.

The cost of the instructor certification varies depending on the type of training you are seeking certification in (e.g., First Aid/CPR/AED). Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$300 for initial instructor certification and $100-$150 for recertification every two years.

7. National Board for Certification in Medical Education (NBCME)

The National Board for Certification in Medical Education (NBCME) is a non-profit organization that provides certification programs for the medical education community. It was established in 1988 to promote excellence and quality assurance in medical education. The NBCME offers several certification programs, including the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The NBCME certification process typically takes between six months and one year to complete, depending on the program. To get certified, applicants must first meet eligibility requirements, which vary by program. These requirements include completing an accredited medical school program, passing a comprehensive exam, and providing proof of professional experience. After meeting these requirements, applicants must submit an application form along with supporting documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. Once approved, applicants will be required to take a written examination that covers topics related to their chosen specialty area.

The cost of NBCME certification varies depending on the program. Generally speaking, there are fees associated with submitting an application form, taking the exam, and renewing the certification every two years. Most programs also require additional fees for retaking exams or obtaining additional certifications.

8. Certified Nursing Education Specialist (CNES)

Certified Nursing Education Specialist (CNES) is a professional certification offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The CNES credential demonstrates that an individual has achieved a high level of expertise in the field of nursing education. It is designed to recognize nurses who have obtained advanced knowledge and experience in the field of nursing education.

The CNES credential requires applicants to have at least two years of full-time teaching experience in a nursing education program and hold a current, unrestricted RN license. Applicants must also pass an exam administered by the ANCC to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in nursing education. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as curriculum development, evaluation strategies, teaching methods, and educational technology.

The CNES credential is valid for five years and can be renewed by completing continuing education activities or retaking the exam. To maintain certification, applicants must also adhere to the ANCC Code of Ethics for Nursing Education Specialists.

The cost of obtaining the CNES credential varies depending on whether you are taking the exam or renewing your certification. Taking the exam costs $295 for non-members and $245 for members of the ANCC. Renewal fees are $175 for non-members and $145 for members.

9. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Instructor Certification

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Instructor Certification is a credential that enables individuals to teach the American Heart Association's ACLS course. This certification is intended for healthcare professionals who have already completed the ACLS Provider Course and have experience in teaching or leading groups. It is designed to equip instructors with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively teach the ACLS course.

The certification process takes approximately 8-10 hours and includes an online component, an instructor candidate self-assessment, a written exam, and a practical skills evaluation. The online component includes topics such as adult learning principles, effective teaching strategies, and assessment of student performance. The instructor candidate self-assessment requires candidates to review their current knowledge base related to ACLS content and determine their readiness for teaching the course. The written exam covers both general ACLS information as well as specific information related to teaching the course. Finally, the practical skills evaluation assesses candidates' ability to lead group discussions, demonstrate skills, use visual aids effectively, and manage student performance during simulations.

To get certified as an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor, you must first complete an AHA approved BLS Healthcare Provider Course or equivalent training program. You must also complete an AHA approved ACLS Provider Course or equivalent training program before enrolling in an AHA approved ACLS Instructor Course or equivalent training program. Once you have completed these prerequisite courses, you can find a local AHA Training Center where you can take the instructor certification course.

The cost of becoming an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor varies depending on your location and whether or not you are taking a classroom-based or online course. Generally speaking, expect to pay between $200-$400 for your instructor certification course fees plus any additional fees associated with registering with the American Heart Association (AHA).

10. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Instructor Certification

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Instructor Certification is a program designed to teach healthcare professionals the skills needed to effectively manage a pediatric emergency. The certification is offered by the American Heart Association (AHA) and is designed for healthcare providers who are already certified in Basic Life Support (BLS).

The PALS Instructor Certification course takes approximately 10-12 hours to complete and consists of online self-study, an instructor-led classroom session, and an evaluation. The online self-study covers topics such as airway management, resuscitation, shock management, and more. During the instructor-led classroom session, participants will review case studies and practice skills in small groups. At the end of the course, participants must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.

To get certified as a PALS Instructor, you must first be certified in BLS. You can then register for the PALS Instructor Course through your local AHA Training Center or online at www.heart.org/palsinstructorcourse. The cost of the course varies depending on location but typically ranges from $250-$400 USD.

Once you have completed all components of the course successfully, you will receive your PALS Instructor Certification Card which is valid for two years from date of issue.

11. Basic Life Support (BLS) Instructor Certification

Basic Life Support (BLS) Instructor Certification is a program designed to certify individuals in the teaching of basic life support techniques. It is a comprehensive program that covers the fundamentals of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillation (AED), and other related topics.

The certification process typically takes about 8-10 hours to complete, depending on the provider and the level of instruction required. The course consists of both online and in-person components, including lectures, hands-on training, and practical exams. In order to become certified, participants must demonstrate their ability to teach BLS skills effectively.

In order to get certified as a BLS instructor, you must first complete an approved BLS instructor course from an accredited provider. Once you have completed the course, you will need to take an exam administered by your provider or an approved testing center in order to receive your certification.

The cost of becoming a BLS instructor varies depending on the provider and the type of certification you are seeking. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $100-$500 for a basic certification course. Additional fees may be required for more advanced certifications or additional training materials.

Do You Really Need a Medical Instructor Certificate?

Whether or not you need a medical instructor certificate depends on your specific situation and goals. Generally, there are two primary reasons why people seek out medical instructor certifications: to gain professional credibility as an expert in their field, or to become eligible for positions that require this type of certification.

If you are looking to add credibility to your resume and demonstrate your expertise in the medical field, then a medical instructor certificate can be beneficial. It shows potential employers that you have taken the initiative to develop specialized knowledge in the area of teaching and instructing others about medical topics. This can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for positions in the healthcare industry. Additionally, it may also open up opportunities for teaching or consulting gigs related to medicine.

On the other hand, if you are looking to pursue a career as a medical instructor, then having a medical instructor certificate is essential. Most educational institutions require instructors to have this type of certification before they are considered for any position. In addition, many employers may require it as well before they hire an individual for a teaching role or other related positions within their organization.

Overall, whether or not you need a medical instructor certificate depends on your own personal goals and objectives. If you want to increase your professional credibility and gain access to more job opportunities in the healthcare industry, then it might be worth investing in one of these certificates. On the other hand, if you plan on pursuing a career as an educator within the field of medicine, then having one is likely essential for success.

Related: Medical Instructor Resume Examples

FAQs About Medical Instructor Certifications

1. What is a Medical Instructor Certification?

Answer: A Medical Instructor Certification is a credential that recognizes and validates the professional qualifications of individuals who teach medical courses, such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other related topics.

2. How do I become certified?

Answer: To become certified you must complete an approved medical instructor training program and pass a certification exam.

3. What are the benefits of having a Medical Instructor Certification?

Answer: Benefits of having a Medical Instructor Certification include increased credibility in the field, access to higher paying positions, and recognition from employers and organizations.

4. How long does it take to obtain a Medical Instructor Certification?

Answer: Depending on the program you choose, it typically takes between one to two years to complete the required training and receive your certification.

5. Are there any prerequisites for obtaining a Medical Instructor Certification?

Answer: Yes, most programs require applicants to have at least two years of experience in the medical field before being eligible for certification.