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Crisis Prevention/Intervention: A Nurses Guide to Certification

Higher Education Articles September 25, 2013

Obtaining a Crisis Prevention Intervention certification can expand the career options for practicing providers. Some professionals choose to add this certification to their portfolio in order to narrow their field of practice. Students with an associate degree in a health related field may choose this option as a means to move into a better paying position or to explore potential career paths for the future.

Entrance into the certification program is open to students with some prior experience or education such as the ones listed below.

•Licensed practicing nurse
•Licensed social worker
•Professional licensed health care worker with a minimum of an associate’s degree
•Licensed counselor or psychologist
•Member of the clergy or ministry
•Practicing disaster relief worker
•Verifiable employment as a firefighter, rescue worker, crisis counselor or emergency med tech

PayScale Information

While salaries for a certified Crisis Prevention/Intervention counselor vary widely based on the setting and regional location, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for Substance Abuse workers is approximately $40,000.


The workload and general duties for professionals with Crisis Prevention/Intervention certification include everything from assisting clients with stop-smoking programs to in-patient rehabilitation treatment and counseling sessions.

Certified professionals may work in clinics, hospitals, employer based treatment facilities and schools, among other settings. The salary will vary depending on whether the professional works in public or private settings, as well as the level of experience that supports the certification.

Certification Process

•Apply for entrance to a certification program
•Complete the necessary training and course work
•Take and pass an exit exam
•Take courses for renewal or recertification as required by the employer or state mandates

The certification process for becoming a recognized crisis intervention and prevention specialist builds on prior training and experience. Therefore, the courses are offered in a variety of delivery methods. Instruction is available through webinars, workshops and online courses that provide in-depth training in specialty areas such as substance and alcohol abuse, suicide prevention and counseling.

Courses and programs are generally designed and taught by credentialed experts in the fields of psychology, behavioral science or counseling.

After training and instruction are completed, participants must pass rigorous tests to demonstrate knowledge and competency in the course materials. Each state has a number of professional associations and advisory boards established to monitor the activities of certification programs in order to achieve consistent quality education and certification outcomes. Exit testing is based on the guidelines established by associations like the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), which is accepted as the standard in all US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


There are a number of specialty areas within the Crisis Prevention Intervention certification program. For professional nurses, mental health workers and community service providers, pursuing specialty certification can lead to increased salaries, expanded career choices and rewarding professional development outcomes.

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