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Certified Life Care Planner

Life care planners are licensed professionals, but the license is in a related field, not in life care planning per se. The foundation for practice is a license in nursing, special education, or a related health or human services field. Initial licensure will require you to complete a degree and pass a licensing exam as well as some type of background or character screening.

A person may begin doing some work related to life care planning while working under a nursing license. This person can enhance their career options later through specialized training and certification. Certification is not a legal mandate, but it can enhance career mobility.

Certification as a life care planner can be earned through the International Commission on Health Care Certification (ICHCC). In order to qualify to sit for the certifying examination, you will need a degree in a field related to rehabilitation, for example, professional nursing. In addition, you will need to have taken a post-licensure life care planning course of at least 180 hours. Among the educational requirements are 16 hours in methodology and a course in catastrophic case management. You will also need to document three years of experience out in the field.

Certification for nurse life care planners is also available through the Certified Nurse Life Care Planner Certification Board. In order to qualify, you must have been licensed as an RN for at least five years, and you must have at least two years experience doing case management or life care planning. If you are not able to document two years of recent work experience as a life care planner, you will need to take courses in life care planning (at the minimum, 120 hours of continuing education).