Becoming a Lactation Consultant in Arkansas – AR
Generally, students select academic education programs and clinical training opportunities that will prepare them to gain lactation consultant certification in Arkansas. Since the occupation of lactation consultant is still a relatively new and emerging career, the state and federal government do not yet regulate this profession by mandating certification, registration, or licensing. However, by taking a lactation consultant competency examination administered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), students can earn the professional title of international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC).
To qualify for examination, individuals must enroll in and complete an academic program that specifically focuses on lactation and breastfeeding, gain experience counseling and assisting breastfeeding families in an approved health care setting under the supervision of a health care professional, and must complete an IBLCE approved mentoring plan in lactation education.
Most lactation consultants gain entry into the field by becoming a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse prior to applying for certification. After gaining certification, lactation consultants can advance their careers by becoming educators and supervisors within the field. Typically, most lactation consultants in Arkansas find employment in local hospitals, medical clinics, public health facilities, health care educational institutes, and physicians’ offices after completing the certification process.