Marie's Outlook

Five Reasons to Renew Your IBCLC Certification–Soon!

Is it time to decide between going through the effort of re-certifying or letting your IBCLC credential lapse? Have you been going back and forth between the two options, not sure what to do? Maybe you’ve been leaning against recertifying, figuring something like “I don’t really need my IBCLC credential anymore because I am (too old, a stay-at-home mom, not in maternal/child health any more, retired, a bad test-taker, etc.)”

Stop. Put that line of thought on hold for just a minute and consider the other side. Before you give up your credential, consider these 5 reasons why you should recertify NOW.

Your dream job may show up tomorrow.
I get it. Re-certifying can seem a pain. I questioned whether I needed any more credentials than what I had, or if re-certifying was with the bit of hassle, or expense. Later, I realized that I would have been ineligible for a big career leap if I had not re-certified.

What opportunities might come around the bend for you? Do you want to be ready to embrace them?

Having any certification always enhances your professional credentials.
Earning a state license shows that you have passed a general exam. But holding a specialty certification—lactation or fetal monitoring or inpatient obstetrics or any other certification—helps others to know that you have gone the extra mile to learn all you can about a specialty area, and they can trust your expert opinion in that area.

Do you want to give up the credibility that your certification conveys?

You don’t know where your life might take you.
Even if you are past the point where you’re actively looking for a job, and even if you’re thinking about retiring, it’s likely that you will find that keeping your credential is beneficial. Others will know that you are a health care professional who is passionate about obtaining a high level of expertise about health care topics. That’s a bonus in many situations.

For example, you might find yourself being sought after and trusted by parents who might not need “consultations” so much as they need support for breastfeeding infants with chronic feeding problems. Or, perhaps you could see yourself volunteering at a women’s shelter, a home for pregnant women, or on a mission trip to Fiji. You might not have to be paid—but you do have to be picked!

What opportunities might arise that your credential would benefit?

It keeps your mind sharp.
I pride myself on knowing a lot of information about breastfeeding and lactation–after all, I’ve been working in this field for decades! Yet, I often find myself refining some knowledge or learning something new. Although keeping up with your credential is not the only way to keep learning,  it’s a great way to stay vibrant and well-informed. We all feel better when we see ourselves growing in wisdom and age and grace.

What benefits have you noticed from engaging in study about a topic you love?

Otherwise, you have to start ALL OVER AGAIN!
This is the biggest reason to NEVER let your certification lapse! I truly wish you could hear the people who come to me as new test-takers (after allowing their certification to relapse). The cost in time and money feels like much more than it ever did the first time–and it is, frankly, because it’s unnecessary. Trust me, keeping up your certification is much less costly. Otherwise, you’ll need to start all over again with accumulating education and more.

Sign up by November 15 for the exam in April. Or complete your 75 CERPs with our convenient online package. (You’d have to really move to get it done before September 31, but you could still do it! Print out your certificate from home!)

Relinquishing your IBCLC is a big deal. Please think–a lot–before you take that step.

Are you ready to re-certify?


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

4 thoughts on “Five Reasons to Renew Your IBCLC Certification–Soon!

  1. Rose

    I am retiring in March, 2018. I have worked at the same hospital for almost 47 years , the last 20 years exclusively as an IBCLC. My IBCLC expires in July 2018. I have severe neck and back issues from all the “bending over” my patients to help them. I really want to just retire from being an IBCLC but I’m not sure I will be financially secure down the road. What advice do you have for me Marie?

    1. Marie Post author

      Ah, Rosie, I think you are struggling with two questions, and, although you did not articulate either explicitly, you have implicitly raised two questions. You are wondering (a) should you renew your IBCLC and (b) what must you do to become financially secure down the road! I don’t have the answer to either, but let me say a few words that might help to sort things out.

      First, take a hard look at what you’ve already done to plan for a financially secure retirement; you could not have worked all of those years for the same hospital without being vested in some sort of retirement plan. Aso consider what else you could do–other than nursing–that you love and are good at. Honestly, if I could knit all day long and teach others to knit and have my own knitting store etc.and make money at it, I might do it! Are you passionate about a hobby that you could turn into some sort of financial gain? No matter how much you love being a nurse (and certainly I love being a nurse!) try to think outside of the box. Talk to other friends who have retired. Most are doing something–often volunteer work–but some are being paid for non-nurse activities that are less stressful than working at the hospital.

      Second, ask yourself if IBCLC credential is the key to getting paid the amount of money you want or need. Again, think outside of the box. On occasion, I think of going back to the hospital to work, because I really loved “hospital.” But I would not go back as a maternal-child nurse. (I would be too frustrated, and I’m not sure my arthritic knee could handle it!) I would love to head up Staff Development or Quality Improvement or something along those lines. Another question: why wouldn’t you want to re-certify? Time? Expense? Hassle? Weigh the pros and cons. What will give you public credibility, money, or satisfaction after you retire from your current position.

      Finally, if you want to simply keep “a” credential but not necessarily the IBCLC credential, consider the new Lactationist credential that I am offering. We just “graduated” our first group of Certified Clinical Lactationists. (Spoiler alert! We haven’t rolled out a full-blown campaign on this yet!) It is designed for hard-working, high-performing people who want a national (rather than international) slant, and don’t want the pressure of being tested every 5-10 years. Call my office if you want more information (703-787-9894).

      Finally, remember that each day is a gift! Live life to the fullest!

  2. Rose

    Thank you so much for taking the time to email me with some very thought provoking comments Marie! I certainly will take your advice and listen to my heart! I may be interested in your new CCL program, sounds great!
    I have been to your IBCLC prep exam courses and I consider you to be the best in your field! You really made the course fun! Thank you for all you do to promote breastfeeding!
    I have certainly enjoyed my rewarding career!

    1. Marie Post author

      I’m glad I could help you to think it through! Thank you, too, for your wonderful reaction to my IBCLC exam prep course. I’m glad it was fun–that’s one of my aims! To me, learning should be fun! (Kind of like breastfeeding:it should be an ENJOYABLE experience. If it isn’t, there’s something wrong!)

      Yes, do listen to your heart. Since it’s only days before the IBLCE exam is administered, I’m in the “answer” mode. But in real life, it’s often the questions we ask ourselves that determine our journey. Good for you that you are asking not only the questions, but hopefully, the right questions, and listening to your heart! Many warm wishes coming your way from me as you move towards retirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.