IV & Infusion Therapy Certificate

Program Overview

Improve patient safety standards in your organization by upgrading clinical skills in vascular access, care and maintenance, from a certified expert and nurse educator.

   Class Fall 2017 posing for graduation picture       Class Fall 2017 posing for graduation picture

Did you know that catheter-related blood stream infection is one of the most common causes of nosocomial infection - one of the most frequent, costly and lethal infections? (Gahlot R., et al. 2014)

The use of vascular access devices (VADs) is a common and important part of clinical practice.  Approximately 90% percent of all patients require some form of IV and infusion therapy during their health care experience. Peripheral IVs are one of the most common, invasive, and technologically difficult procedures,  yet minimal-to-no formal education or training opportunities are available to develop these skills. As a result, there are wide discrepancies and inconsistencies in practice that can lead to patient complications, malpractice, and even deaths.

The Certificate in IV and Infusion Therapy will provide evidence-based education in vascular access and set standards for infusion therapy and patient safety, with an emphasis on high-risk settings such as home care, clinics and long-term care. The program is geared towards working health professionals who administer or manage VADs and infusion therapy for organizations, and for those preparing for a vascular access or infusion certification exam.

The program will be delivered fully online or in a hybrid format (online and in-person) which includes four live webcasts in the evening and a skills laboratory workshop (this last one is offered in-person or online) . Participants will have the opportunity to practice their IV insertion, venipuncture, and infection control techniques firsthand in the skills laboratory.

How You Will Benefit:

  • Practice administering vascular access and infusion therapy in a simulated learning environment using devices such as vascular access devices, infusion pumps, and anatomical models.
  • Prepare for job requirements and/or national certification for the Canadian Vascular Access Association (CVAA), Certified Registered Nurse of Infusion (CRIN�) and the Vascular AccessCertification (VA-BCñ)
  • Increase confidence, skills, and expertise specific to the delivery of vascular access and infusion therapy such as venipuncture techniques, infection control techniques and others.
  • Develop theory, assessment and critical thinking to recognize and troubleshoot complications early and reduce malpractice and trauma.
  • Apply evidence-based best practices that comply with standards set by provincial, national regulatory bodies to optimize patient safety outcomes.
  • You have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion at the end of the program, on successful completion of all mandatory requirements

What You Will Learn:

  • Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology to vascular access and infusion therapy.
  • Examine the legal and quality assurance aspects related to infusion therapy practices to align with ethical and professional practice.
  • Explain principles of aseptic technique specific to vascular access insertion and maintenance.
  • Demonstrate understanding of pharmacy-therapeutics specific to infusion therapy in alternate care settings.
  • Exhibit psychomotor critical thinking skills necessary for effective nursing management for patients receiving infusion therapy and total parenteral nutrition.
  • Describe assessment and considerations for vascular access device selection. Identify the categories of devices available for vascular access.

Entry Requirements:

  • Registered Clinicians  in Canada in good standing with their college,  including RNs, RPNs, LPNs, Physician Assistants, and other health professionals working in home care, long term care, and acute care who provides vascular access and infusion therapy; OR
  • Paramedics, phlebotomists and doctors-in-training in Canada; OR
  • Internationally educated nurses (IENs)/ international Physicians (IMG) who are located and registered/licensed in Canada OR
    • Programs at the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) are offered in English. To register in our programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the language requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate language proficiency. Click on the link to learn more: English Language Requirements

Please note:

  • Registered health professionals may be asked for proof of licencing
  • The Wound Care Certificate and the IV Infusion Therapy Certificate (only) are currently not accepting applications from students residing outside of Canada - This might change in the future!

Please note: Medical researchers, phlebotomists, pharmacists, and non-regulated roles requiring this training should contact that HLLN office at hlln@yorku.ca before registering.

Group discounts are also available for organizations looking to implement evidence-based best practices, and improve their patient safety standards across their organization.

Program Content

Class of 2017 observing demonstration  
Class Fall 2017 observing demonstration

Clinicians performing vascular access and infusion therapy procedures require specific knowledge to properly insert and maintain vascular access devices.

This Certificate in IV and Infusion Therapy will focus on skills development, best practice implementation, safety, documentation, accountability, and communication. The program is informed by the best available evidence, provincial and federal regulated practice acts, infusion therapy standards of practice, best practice guidelines, Safer Healthcare Now and CDC recommendations for catheter related blood stream infection prevention.

You will take an integrated approach to peripheral vascular access device insertion, care and maintenance of central vascular access devices (CVADs), pharmacy therapeutics and medication administration, including knowledge of the types of fluids and medications used and side effects, patient assessment criteria, prevention and management of complications, as well as principles of safe, ethical and professional care.


This program will be delivered in a convenient format of 2-hour evening live webcasts sessions delivered over four consecutive weeks, followed by online and in-person skills lab training sessions.

Live Webcasts (8 hours total)

Session 1: Introduction (2 hours)

    • Setting the stage, looking at current standards of practice
  • Vascular system anatomy & physiology
  • Fluid Management: fluid balance, electrolytes, nutritional solutions, osmolarity, pH

Session 2: Vascular Access Protocols (2 hours)

  • Fluid Management: infusion therapy
  • Legal Aspects Related to I.V. Therapy
  • Vascular access devices

Session 3: Care and Maintenance (2 hours)

  • Infection control standards (P and C bundles)
  • Methods of proper vein assessment
  • Techniques for PVAD success
  • Emerging technologies (Ultrasound)

Session 4: Pain Management (2 hours)

  • Care and maintenance CVADs
  • Potential complications and recommended interventions
  • Electronic infusion devices--overview

Applied Skills Lab - one Online session and one In-Person session (Time TBD- registrants will be contacted)

  • Hands on practice using anatomical models, vascular access devices, infusion pumps, infusion therapy equipment, technology and supplies
  • Tips for successful vein access and catheter insertion
  • Identification of the main peripheral veins available for the insertion of a peripheral IV catheter
  • Performing IVs, practice for central lines, understand midlines vs CVADs
  • Venipuncture techniques, infection control techniques
  • Management of difficult insertions



Karen Laforet - RN, MClSc-WH, CCHN(C), CVAA(c), VA-BC™, IIWCC

Portrait of Instructor Karen Laforet in a Circle Frame

Karen Laforet is a nurse leader with over 30 years of healthcare experience in critical care, home and community care, industry and academia. She was an Adjunct Associate Professor for the Master’s Clinical Science program, Western University for over seven years; was an instructor with Fanshawe College community health program; and developed the undergraduate wound care course for Cape Breton University. She is currently registered and on a committee with the College of Nurses’ of Ontario, is a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), Wounds Canada, International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (ISTAP), Canadian Vascular Access Committee (CVAA), Association for Vascular Access (AVA), Infusion Nurses Society (INS), is serving on the National Coalition for IV Push Safety (NCIVPS) and is a member and on the editorial review committee for the Infusion Nurses Society (INS).

She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of the chapter on “Introduction to infusion therapy” in Infusion Therapy made Incredibly Easy (Wolters Kluwer, US) and has been a committee member on a number of provincial, national and international best practice clinical guidelines. She has a deep commitment to improve patient safety and health outcomes through the application of evidence into practice for medication and infusion therapy, pain and symptom management, maintaining skin integrity, wound management best practices and advocating for improvements in health policy.

Karen has provided education, clinical, and legal consultation through LK Group Professional Consulting Group with a focus on community and long-term care sectors. In addition, she has held positions of Director of Clinical Services and Privacy Officer, Manager of Clinical Excellence-Nursing, Nurse Manager, and Clinical Educator. She is the former President and founding Board member for the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses (CACCN), former President of the Ontario Wound Interest Group (OntWIG), former Director at Large/Treasurer for the Canadian Association Vascular Access (CVAA), and is currently Director-at-Large for the Association for Vascular Access (AVA). Karen has developed and taught clinical programs with York University Health Leadership and Learning Network (HLLN), and has developed and taught workshops through HLLN for over 5 years.

Certificate of Completion

Certificate of Completion 

Certificates of completion are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have :

  • Attended all sessions
  • Completed and passed all assignments and assessments, as they may be assigned during the program

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.


Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call: Reservations (416)-650-8300

book on-line: www.elc.schulich.yorku.ca

E-mail: reservations@schulich.yorku.ca