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Eligibility & Requirements to Attend

AWHONN maintains its position that only registered nurses, advanced practice nurses and physicians with professional expertise should initiate and evaluate the ongoing use of EFM technology. Furthermore, AWHONN strongly advises that all nurses who perform fetal assessment during the antepartum or intrapartum period complete a course of study that includes the physiologic interpretation of EFM data and its implications for labor support.

Physicians may attend the Intermediate and Advanced Courses and may receive Continuing Medical Education credit for full participation. Continuing Medical Education Credit is managed by Professional Education Services Group and will be available via the AWHONN online CNE/CME system. Determination of physician eligibility for CME is at the discretion of the facility offering the course.

LPNs and LVNs may attend the Intermediate and Advanced Courses for educational development purposes. Determination of eligibility and participation is at the discretion of the facility offering the course and may vary according to state practice regulations. LPNs and LVNs may receive contact hours and may elect to participate in the skills stations for the Intermediate Course as a learning experience.

Participation Requirements

Intermediate Course Requirements
This course is designed for clinicians who completed a basic or foundations fetal heart monitoring course and who utilize fetal heart monitoring in the intrapartum setting. Participants are expected to already possess basic knowledge and related skills in the following areas:

  • Maternal physiologic changes of pregnancy
  • Fetal growth and development
  • Methods of fetal monitoring
  • Preparation of patient for set-up and initiation of external or internal fetal monitoring components
  • Obtaining and maintaining tracings that document fetal heart rate and uterine contractions
  • Interpretation of uterine contraction frequency, duration, and baseline resting tone.
  • Identification of the baseline fetal heart rate, variability, and deviations
  • Indicated clinical interventions
  • Communication and documentation strategies

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Analyze fetal heart rate patterns, uterine activity and their implications for fetal well-being.
  • Discuss indicated clinical interventions and related maternal-fetal physiology.
  • Effectively communicate verbal and written data about patient status.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of health care providers in the use of FHM in intrapartum care.
  • Demonstrate the psychomotor skills used in FHM.
To meet knowledge requirements, nurses with only antepartum in-patient care, antepartum fetal heart testing, or limited intrapartum experience may need additional didactic and/or clinical experience. Nurses are expected to self-determine their own eligibility to participate. No screening is required. If you are uncertain whether your level of knowledge and skill is appropriate, ask the instructor for counsel and guidance before attending. Physicians may attend at the discretion of the instructor.

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Advanced Course Requirements
Instructing participants in advanced fetal monitoring concepts follows similar principles as instructing participants in the Intermediate Course. However, teaching the Advanced Course does require the instructor to be knowledgeable in the following content areas:

  • Maternal physiologic changes of pregnancy related to intrapartum complications
  • Maternal-fetal physiology underlying FHM
  • Antepartum fetal surveillance
  • Fetal arrhythmias
  • Identification and management of complex fetal heart rate monitoring patterns
  • Communication and risk management issues

Instructors self determine their ability to teach the Advanced Course based on their knowledge level. Instructors who feel uncomfortable teaching the content presented in this course may opt to teach only the Intermediate Course There is no requirement to teach the Advanced Course to maintain instructor status.

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Instructor Course
In order to attend the Intermediate Instructor Course, participants must comply with the following criteria:

  • Successfully complete the Intermediate FHM Course within 3 years of the Intermediate Instructor Course and receive Competency Validation as well as contact hours of continuing education credit. Additional requirements include current AWHONN membership, a minimum of two years recent clinical experience in fetal monitoring, current clinical involvement in FHM and documentation of professional educational development in FHM.

  • To become an Advanced Course Instructor, the candidate is required to successfully complete the Advanced FHM Course, receiving both Competency Validation and contact hours of continuing education credit and the Advanced Instructor Tutorial. This is required for individuals who wish to become Advanced Course Instructors and is not required to become an Intermediate Instructor.

  • Be a member of AWHONN. AWHONN membership is required in order to become and maintain active status as an instructor. Candidates must have current membership with AWHONN in order to attend the Instructor Course and must provide their AWHONN ID number to the Instructor Trainer when completing verification documentation. The AWHONN membership number will be the individual's Instructor ID number as well. To join, enroll online.

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