Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification and Programs
State Licensure RequirementsThere are currently 25 states that require students to hold a state license before they can act or perform as a nuclear medicine technologist. Since you are considering beginning this career, it will be important for you to know if or what your state demands of you.
The states that currently have a licensing process for nuclear medicine include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.
In most states, the licensing process is relatively the same in that graduates will be required to meet all initial educational
All states that have a state licensing process will require you to take a national nuclear medicine certification test before they will authorize your license; however, some states also require a state jurisprudence test as well. A jurisprudence test is state specific and will ask a student to demonstrate his or her understanding of the current state laws and regulations surrounding the nuclear medicine profession. The only states from the list above that do not require this type of test include Minnesota, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah.
Two boards currently exist which are responsible for issuing national certification to students of nuclear medicine, and they include the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, or NMTCB; and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, or ARRT.
The NMTCB lays out the following eligibility requirements before any student or occupied professional can take their certification test:
- Graduated from an accredited nuclear medicine program recognized by the NMTCB. The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, or JRC-NMT accredits most schools.
- The nuclear medicine degree obtained can be either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree; however, it must have a focus on physical science or biological science.
- The degree must include courses in physics and chemistry.
- Must have been working under a certified nuclear medicine technologist for at least 4 years prior to application for examination.
- Must have at least 15 hours working in the field of nuclear medicine or radiation.
In addition, the NMTCB requires at least 24 credit hours of continuing education for every two years for recertification.
The ARRT has similar requirements, and the choice as to which organization you choose to be certified through is up to you. You may even want to consider being certified by both organizations, as this will give you more recognition and placement in the job market.
Specialty CertificationCertain nuclear medicine programs place a greater focus on specialized aspects of the progression. If you are thinking of specializing as a nuclear cardiologist or as a PET scanning technologist, you should be informed that a separate specialized test would be required of you to be certified in either of these two areas.
To take either of these examinations, you will already need to have active nuclear medicine certification. In addition, you must also have worked at least two years in a nuclear medicine environment during the last five years prior to application for examination.
To renew your specialized certification, you will be held to the same continuing education requirement as all nuclear medicine technologists, which is 24 hours for every two years.
Is National Certification Necessary?Well, in truth, it depends on what state you live in. As a part of the state licensing process, some states will want you to be certified or in the process of getting certified before they will issue a license. Obviously, this would not be a concern if you live in a state that does not have a state license.
Regardless of what your state asks of you, the most important thing to consider is your status as a professional in nuclear medicine. Being certified helps to show employers your dedication to the field and it also gives you vast opportunities for advancement. Nuclear medicine technologist certification also allows you to practice with the title “CNMT” after your given name. This title stands for Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist.
Keep in mind that certification is extremely important and preferred once you are in the work force. While you might not be aware, some insurance companies and third-party payers actually require that testing procedures be done by a CNMT or they will not pay for such testing. This helps you to see why your certification would be important to a potential employer.
Because you will need national certification in order to advance to a specialist type of position, it is easy to see both the values and the benefits that holding such certification can have. Certification is more than just a title after your name, but rather it is recognition for your academic accomplishments and a gateway to enhancing your career.
References:The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board,
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists,
The Society of Nuclear Medicine,