December 2015 E-newsletter
CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 8; Issue 4
December 2015

In this Issue:

President's Message Spotlight on a CIC®: Karen Singson
CIC® Exam Study Tip: Visual Learning New Podcast
Thank You to our Volunteers Org. Summit / Strategic Planning
Webber Teleclass: Demystifying the CIC® Exam
Recertification Reminder
Recertification in 2016 and Beyond Connect with CBIC
One and Only Campaign

CBIC President's Message

With the Holiday Season already upon us, the end of 2015 is now clearly in sight. This year has been a busy one and I’ve tried to keep you up-to-date by highlighting changes to the certification examination process and CBIC events in every newsletter. This is my last official communication as 2015 CBIC President and there are a few things left to talk about. In October we celebrated Certified IP/ICP Day, and met with the leadership of APIC and IPAC-Canada to discuss ways that we can work together in 2016 to promote certification, support our candidates and continue to deliver a credible and relevant certification process. In November, CBIC directors Roy Boukidjian and Linda Goss delivered a Webber Teleclass entitled “Demystifying the Certification Exam” and we participated in a successful strategic planning session that will guide our path forward beginning in 2016 and beyond. With the assistance of our colleagues at IPAC-Canada and L'Association des Infirmières en Prévention des Infections (AIPI), we have completed translation of the CIC® examination into Canadian French and are excited to offer this option to candidates in early 2016. The standard setting process has been completed for our new examination form and live scoring has returned. I would like to thank everyone for your patience as we worked through this necessary phase of the examination development process. On December 1st we posted a record high, 6,294 certified IPs on our website, up from approximately 5,800 at this time last year.

The time has come to bid farewell to directors Dr. Kathy Suh (CBIC President, 2014) and Gail Harris who are completing their second terms on the CBIC Board. Their wisdom and contributions to our Board work have made us better. We thank them for their dedication and wish them both the best. We are very excited to welcome two newly appointed directors who will join the CBIC Board in 2016, Sandra Callery from Toronto, Canada and Dr. James Marx from San Diego, California. We look forward to working with both of them. I would also like acknowledge and introduce the incoming CBIC President for 2016, Dr. Ruth Carrico. Ruth is a proven leader in the field of infection prevention and control and an inspiration to those who are privileged to work with her.

2015 has been a successful year for certification and I am very appreciative of the support provided by the CBIC staff and my fellow directors on the CBIC Board. Without their passion for infection prevention, their collaboration, leadership and volunteer work, our accomplishments this year would not have been possible. It has truly been an honour to stand amongst these dedicated leaders and to serve as your 2015 CBIC President.

As I have done in every newsletter, I would like to close by thanking all of you who proudly display your CIC® credential and support certification in our profession on a daily basis. Congratulations to everyone who has achieved initial certification or recertification this year.



Kathryn McGhie, RN, BScN, CIC
2015 CBIC President

Spotlight on a CIC®: Karen Singson, RN, CIC

Why did you choose an infection prevention career?
Since starting my nursing career in 1982, I have had the opportunity to witness advances in infection prevention first hand. I started my nursing career as a pediatric nurse and observed the devastating effects of preventable communicable diseases on children and their families. I will never forget the father who stood at the door of our treatment room observing resuscitation efforts to his two month old daughter with fulminant Haemophilus influenzae meningitis. As I glanced over my shoulder while assisting in these efforts, I noticed this father reading a poster taped to the treatment room door announcing the availability of a new vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae. This father’s daughter, who was born as a healthy newborn, survived Haemophilus influenzae meningitis, but now suffers from profound deafness and mental handicaps. The extra burden of her continual healthcare needs added to the disintegration of her parent’s marriage. Since that awful night, I vowed to help reduce the impact of preventable infectious disease in my community in any way that I could. As my nursing career has evolved, I navigated towards infection prevention implementation projects and strategies. I was thrilled when my hospital’s administration approached me and requested if I would join their Infection Control team in 1996. Healthcare has significantly improved as infection prevention strategies have become more integrated into everyday practice. Both healthcare personnel and patients are better protected from healthcare associated infections than when I started my nursing career over 30 years ago.

When did you first become Certified in Infection Control (CIC®)?
I worked with wonderful mentors when I became an infection control nurse who encouraged and supported me through the process to become initially certified in 1998. I have maintained my certification since then.

What does being a CIC® mean to you?
Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) signifies that I have foundational knowledge and competencies in infection prevention and control. Certification represents my commitment as an IP to continued patient and healthcare personnel safety, as well as to the expanding body of knowledge of infection prevention and control.

You were recently featured in an article on HAIs in Utah. How does being a CIC® support your work towards reducing the infection rates for Utah hospitals?
I currently work as an IP in the Healthcare Associated Infections Program of the Utah Department of Health. My certification has provided me the foundational knowledge and credibility I need as I work with fellow IPs throughout my state to help reduce healthcare associated infections. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and healthcare regulatory agencies require demonstration of competency of IPs. I cannot think of a better method to demonstrate this competency than having my CIC®. Since Ebola first was recognized in the United States in 2014, healthcare facilities recognized many lapses and challenges with their infection control and prevention programs. The CDC values the CIC® and recognizes that healthcare facilities benefit when their IPs have their CIC®, as evidenced by the financial support through grant funding given to the Utah Department of Health to increase the number of certified IPs in Utah. Currently only 15% of Utah’s hospitals are served by an IP with their CIC®. Monies received by the State of Utah from the CDC will be used to provide two 1.5 days preparation courses for IPs desiring initial certification. Cost of the course, travel, lodging and APIC’s Certification Study Guide, 6th edition, will be provided to attendees. Also, the cost of the CIC® exam will be refunded to the first twenty persons upon successful completion of the exam from each course session. Utah’s HAI Governance Committee, comprised of representatives from legislature and healthcare systems throughout the state, also values the CIC® and has recently encouraged Utah healthcare facilities to consider adding CIC® as a “preferred” requirement when initially hiring an IP, or that CIC® is obtained within two years of hire as an IP.

What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
Obtaining your CIC® can be done. One of our IPs who works in a small rural hospital in Utah just became certified. This IP “wears many hats” in addition to infection prevention and control in her facility. She is a busy mom and actively involved in her community, but, she dedicated time to study and prepare for the exam. And, she passed! This IP will be the first to tell you that her facility is better served by her efforts to become a CIC®.

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**CIC® Exam Study Tip: Visual Learning**

A mind map is a method of visually organizing information into a diagram. At the center of a mind map, is a single concept, with other ideas and concepts branching out from it. Mind maps may be drawn by hand or there are a number of free online tools that generate mind maps. Not only does the visualization help in recalling information, but gathering and organizing the information into the mind map will help to master the material.

Mind maps are just one way of visual learning; there are other visuals that can be used as well. For example, studiers can also use concepts maps, which focus on multiple concepts at the same time. Venn diagrams can help draw similarities and difference between two concepts that may otherwise be difficult to separate. There are numerous other ways to create visuals to help in the learning process and each person will have to find what works best for them.

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New Podcast

Core Competencies and Why CBIC does not Offer Two Levels of Certification

Join CBIC Director Karen Anderson, MT, MPH, CIC as she explains how CBIC determines the content outline of the CIC® examination and the rationale behind why CBIC only offers one credential.

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Thank You to our Volunteers!

We would like to thank all of our volunteers for helping support the CBIC in 2015! There are many ways that CICs can get involved with CBIC. This year CBIC held two full day exam prep courses, piloted a new examination content outline, and worked on a number of other initiatives behind the scenes. None of this would have been possible without the help of our dedicated CIC® volunteers. We would like to thank:

Test Committee
Janet Conner, MT(ASCP), CIC, MSPH
Lynn Fine, CIC
Andrea Flinchum, MPH, BSN, CIC
Melissa Fugate, BSN, RN, CIC
Natalie Bruce, CIC
Sandra Callery, RN, CIC
Sylvia Garcia-Houchins, RN, MBA, CIC
Julie Gibbons, BSN, RN, CIC
Zahir Hirji, RN, CIC
Marie Hodgins, CIC
Pamela Rohrbach, CIC
Michelle Kaiser, CIC
Beth Ann Kavanagh, MT(ASCP), MS, MBA, CIC
Isabelle Tremblay, CIC
Delores Nobles, CIC
Marcia G. Postal-Ranney, CIC
Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC

Standard Setting Participants
Jeanne Emmons, CIC
Leesa Round, CIC
Justin Smyer, MT(ASCP), MPH, CIC
Melissa Fugate, BSN, RN, CIC
Beth Ann Kavanagh, MT(ASCP), MS, MBA, CIC
Isabelle Tremblay, CIC
Andrea Flinchum, MPH, BSN, CIC

Social Media Task Force
Crystal Heishman, RN, ONC, CIC
Binod Baral, MD, PhD, CIC
Kristen Kelley, CIC

Prep Course Planning Committee and Speakers
Sue Cooper, MLT, CIC
Laura Fraser, RN, BScN, CIC
Loretta Fauerbach, MS, FSHEA, CIC
Deb Burdsall, MSN, RN-BC, CIC
Barbara Russell, RN, BSHA, MPH, CIC
Kim Allain, BScN, RN, MHS, CIC
Molly Blake, BN, MHS, CNC(c), CIC
Laurie Dawn Boyer, CIC
Pat Metcalf-Jackson, RN BSN, CIC
Isabelle Langman, CIC
Terrie Lee, RN, MS, MPH, CIC
Connie Steed, RN, MSN, CIC

Finally, CBIC would like to extend a thank you to CBIC Directors Dr. Kathy Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC and Gail Harris, RN, MS, MA, CIC. Your many years of service on the CBIC Board of Directors has been invaluable to us. We wish you the best of luck in your future adventures!

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2015 Organizational Summit and Strategic Planning

Each year CBIC attends an organizational summit with our partner organizations, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada). This year the summit was held in Chicago, IL and leadership from all organizations met to discuss the common goals of protecting the public from infections. One of the main takeaways from the Summit was that the three organizations will work together to develop consistent messaging around the certification examination. The Summit was very productive and CBIC is excited to continue its relationships with APIC and IPAC Canada.

Additionally, this year, CBIC participated in a Strategic Planning Retreat last month. CBIC creates strategic plans in three-year increments. The current CBIC Strategic Plan is for 2012 – 2015. The retreat involved many of CBIC’s stakeholders including our partner organizations and testing agency. There were many good discussions around the future of CBIC and we will have a new Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2019 coming soon!

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Webber Teleclass: Demystifying the CIC® Examination

Once again, CBIC has paired with Webber Training to record a teleclass on the topic of Certification in Infection Control (CIC®). This year, the title of the teleclass was "Demystifiying the CIC® Examination." In this teleclass CBIC Secretary Roy Boukidjian, MSN, PHN, CIC, NE-BC and Director Linda Goss, MSN, APRN-ANP, CIC, COHN-S dispel some common myths around the certification and recertification examinations. To listen to the on-demand teleclass, please click here.

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Recertification Reminder

To maintain certification, the Infection Preventionist must recertify in the fifth calendar year of their certification. If you are certified through December 31, 2015, you must recertify this year! If you have not already taken the following steps, please review the following options for recertification:

  1. Take and pass the proctored computer-based test (CBT) examination
    CBIC's Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) examination is administered via computer, at least five days a week at hundreds of Prometric assessment centers in North America and worldwide. There are no pre-scheduled testing dates, as Prometric offers continuous testing. Once a candidate’s eligibility is confirmed, s/he will receive an e-mail notice from CBIC instructing the candidate on how to schedule an examination appointment.

    Once certified, certification is valid for a five year period. Candidates may apply online via the link on the CBIC website (, or via paper application (available on the CBIC website). CBIC encourages candidates to download the Candidate Handbook at for easy access to all current information on the CIC® examinations. International certificants can also recertify via the computerized examination. To search the database of domestic and international assessment center locations, please go to and click on “Locate a Test Center.” If candidates wish to recertify via the CBT, they must have their examination appointment scheduled for on or before December 30, 2015 (assessment centers are closed on December 31st).
  2. Take and pass the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE)
    The SARE is offered online on a web-based platform. Candidates may take their SARE examination on their own home computer and on their own schedule. The deadline to order the SARE was December 1st. If you have not purchased the exam and still need to recertify this year, you will need to recertify using Option 1 above. A passing score must be achieved, and the SARE must be completed by December 31, 2015 at 11:59pm GMT. CBIC strongly recommends completing the SARE examination prior to December 30, 2015 to ensure that everything goes smoothly upon submission. Candidates must provide an email address to receive the confirmation e-mail with specific instructions on how to access the SARE. The e-mail will include instructions on how to login to the exam, as well as troubleshooting instructions. Candidates may log in and out as many times as necessary, within the established testing window, to complete the examination; responses given during previous testing sessions will be saved. Candidates receive pass/fail results immediately upon finishing their online post-examination survey.

**Candidates who do not pass the CBT for recertification may not subsequently attempt to recertify by the SARE during their current recertification cycle, but must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends. Recertifying candidates who do not pass the SARE cannot apply to retake the SARE but can apply to recertify by CBT. They must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends.

Please be aware that if you do not recertify within the deadlines outlined above, your certification will lapse on December 31, 2015. If you allow your certification to lapse, you cannot use the CIC® credential after December 31, 2015. Should your certification lapse and you decide to pursue the credential again, you must apply through the same application process, criteria, and fee as a first-time applicant at the time of application. If you need further information regarding the CBIC Examination process, please visit the CBIC website at and download the current CBIC Candidate Handbook.

Certification demonstrates to your patients, your employer, and your peers that you have proven competency in infection prevention and control. It also enables you as a professional to build credibility and validate expertise while signifying a commitment to continued practice excellence.

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Recertification in 2016 and Beyond

After consultation with Prometric, CBIC's testing agency, and extensive discussions at the Board level, CBIC is updating the procedure for recertifying. Starting in 2016, if you need to recertify you may only take the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE). If you take the SARE and do not pass, then you may take the Computer-Based Test (CBT). The rules for the SARE remain the same. You have the entirety of your fifth year of certification to take the examination. If you take the examination before December 31 of your recertification year and pass you will be recertified.

However, since you cannot take the SARE more than once in a calendar year, we will allow anyone who fails the SARE to take the CBT to prevent a lapse in certification. If you do not pass the CBT by December 31st of the year your certification expires, you will be considered lapsed and will have to meet the eligibility requirements for first-time certification prior to taking the examination. Please keep this in mind when determining when you will turn in the SARE.

The SARE enables the infection prevention and control professional to use the examination as an educational opportunity, as recertifiers have the entire year to complete the examination with opportunities to revise responses. The SARE supports the concept of growth from novice to expert, and seeks to enable the infection prevention and control professional, regardless of setting, to have the opportunity to demonstrate the professional growth that the infection prevention and control community has supported and indicated as both necessary and expected.

If you have questions about recertifying, please contact the CBIC Executive Office at or 414.918.9796. Best wishes for success in your recertification!

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Membership Organizations

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) has the privilege of working with several organizations to spread the word about the importance of being Certified in Infection Control CIC®. For an explanation of how the organizations are different from the Board, please read the descriptions below:

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC)
CBIC was formed by APIC in 1980 and APIC remains the sole member of CBIC. APIC provides the education and implements competency measures for the CIC® credential.

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)
CBIC is a member of the International Federation of Infection Control Associations. IFIC is comprised of approximately 30 infection control associations worldwide.

Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada)
IPAC Canada is a national, multidisciplinary association committed to the wellness and safety of Canadians by promoting best practice in infection and control through education, standards, advocacy, and consumer awareness. CBIC has a Canadian representative on the Board of Directors at all times.

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Follow CBIC on Social Media (with Bonus Practice Question!)

Become part of the online community of current and aspiring CICs who are discussing ways to prepare for the CIC® examination on the CBIC Facebook page! You can also follow CBIC on Twitter at @CBIC or LinkedIn for more news, announcements and tips.

Follow CBIC on Facebook on #TestingTuesday and #TestingThursday to see the CIC® exam practice questions that are posted twice weekly on the CBIC page. Here is a sample question:

Which of the following learning objectives would require analysis cognitive level?

  1. List 2 methods of hepatitis B transmission.
  2. Interpret the results of a Mantoux test.
  3. Contrast airborne and droplet isolation precautions.
  4. Define the use of antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Scroll to the bottom of the E-Newsletter for the answer!*

We want to hear from you!

CBIC will also be participating in Throwback Thursday (#TBT)! If you have a throwback story or photo, send them to us at and we will share on Thursdays!


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CBIC: a Member of the One & Only Campaign 

CBIC continues to be an active member of the One & Only Campaign, a public safety campaign committed to promoting safe injection practices in all healthcare settings. By teaming up with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, CBIC joins professional groups, healthcare systems, provider groups, private companies and others dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of injection safety.


IIPW Summary

International Infection Prevention Week was October 18-24. During this time CBIC participated through social media and by hosting Certified IP/ICP Day. We had a great turn out and were excited to see participation from many of our CICs. CBIC offered several giveaways during IIPW for CICs who participated in the following ways:

  • Registering on our website
  • Liking CBIC on social media
  • Sharing our Thunderclap post
  • Responding to a Facebook post about why certification is important
  • Sharing a photo with #CertifiedIP2015

Additionally, CBIC displayed a scrolling honor roll everyone Certified in Infection Control. If you missed out on the fun this year, you can always join us next October!

*The answer to the E-Newsletter Practice Question is B: Interpret the results of a Mantoux test.

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Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)