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Virginia Occupational Therapist School
By allied health world contributing writer
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Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in Virginia
Most states, including Virginia, require licensure in order to practice. The Virginia Board of Medicine’s Occupational Therapy Advisory Board requires that all practicing registered occupational therapists (OTR) present verification of professional education, results of the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, and a completed licensing application form, along with a fee, to qualify for a state license.
Education – An OTR must have graduated from Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved educational program with both academic and fieldwork completed and be proficient in English.
Virginia does permit recent graduates who are waiting to take the NBCOT exam or waiting for the results of the exam to practice under the designated title of OT, License Applicant.
NBCOT Exam – Graduates of an ACOTE-approved OT program offered by Virginia occupational therapy schools are qualified to sit for the NBCOT exam. For information on preparing or scheduling the NBCOT exam, go to the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy website at http://www.nbcot.org/. Note that a felony conviction can prohibit person from being allowed to take exam.
License application – In addition to a diploma and NBCOT test scores, anyone wishing to obtain an OT license in Virginia must submit a completed license application form and pay an initial licensing fee of $130.
Renewal – OT licenses must be renewed every two years. Renewal is due during the birth month of the license holder in all even-numbered years. The renewal fee is $135. To renew, an OT must complete the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form, showing at least 20 contact hours of continuing learning activities.
Continuing Learning Activities – An OTR must have at least 10 of the 20 required hours in a professionally sponsored activity such as an in-service training, self-study course, specialty certification or professional workshop. No more than 10 of the 20 hours can be in activities such as consulting with another OTR, independent reading or research, or preparation for a presentation. An OTR will be exempt from the continuing competency requirement the first biennial renewal after the initial license.Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Arlington, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Alexandria, Portsmouth and Hampton, Virginia may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the University of Virginia Medical Center, Saint Mary's Hospital, Lynchburg General Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital.