350 Capitol Street, Room 514 • Charleston, WV 25301-3715
Phone: (304) 356-4193 Fax: (304) 558-1553

Becoming a Certified Asthma Educator

The West Virginia Asthma Education and Prevention Program (WVAEPP), the West Virginia Asthma Coalition (WVAC), and our partners encourage medical professionals to challenge the national certification examination and become a Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C). The WVAEPP strives for all healthcare providers to improve the quality of care given to those who suffer from asthma. By increasing the number of AE-Cs working in the state, the WVAEPP hopes to achieve improved diagnosis, self-management education and treatment, as well as providing resources for those with asthma.

Since 2009, the WVAEPP has provided 3 asthma educator preparatory courses in West Virginia. There is a great need for well-trained asthma specialists to educate and treat this complex lung disease. As of December 2013, there were only 18 AE-Cs residing in West Virginia. Click here to find an AE-C near you: www.naecb.org.


To locate a training course near you please contact the WVAEPP staff by calling 304.356.4193, or by calling the American Lung Association in WV at 304.342.6600.

What is a Certified Asthma Educator and Why Should I Become One?

A Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C) is an expert in teaching,educating, and counseling individuals with asthma and their families in the knowledge and skills necessary to minimize the impact of asthma on their quality of life. Asthma Educators also have all of the following:

  • possess comprehensive, current knowledge of asthma pathophysiology and management including the developmental theories, cultural dimensions, the impact of chronic illness, and the principles of teaching-learning.
  • knowledge about objective and subjective evaluations used to diagnose asthma assess its control.
  • capably instruct individuals with asthma on the optimal use of medications and delivery devices particularly explaining technical concepts to individuals in language each can understand.
  • conduct thorough asssessments of individuals and families to identify strengths and resources as well as negative psychological factors, the social and economic impact of asthma, educational needs, and barriers to optimal healthcare and self-management.
  • work with an individual with asthma, his/her family, and other healthcare professionals to develop, implement, monitor, and revise an asthma action plan customized to the individual's needs, environment, disease severity, and lifestyle to optimize the individual's self-management skills.
  • monitor asthma education program outcomes and recommends modifications to improve quality of life and effectiveness.
  • serve as a resource to the community by providing information about asthma as well as healthcare and community resource.

Who is Eligible to take the Asthma Educator Certification Exam?

  • Physicians (MD, DO)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP)
  • Nurses (RN, LPN)
  • Respiratory Therapists (RRT, CRT)
  • Pulmonary Function Technologists (CPFT, RPFT)
  • Pharmacists (RPh)
  • Social Workers (CSW)
  • Health Educators (CHES)
  • Occupational Therapists (OT)
  • Physical Therapists (PT)
  • Individuals providing professional asthma education and counseling (minimum of 1000 hours)

What are the benefits of certification?

  • Demonstrates mastery of subject matter
  • Recognition as a nationally certified asthma educator (AE-C)

What organization provides the asthma educator certification?

The National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) provides this rigorous exam. This voluntary testing program is used to assess quaified health professionals knowledge in asthma education. Certification is voluntary and is not required by law for employment in the field, although some agencies may use AE-C certification as a basis for employment, job promotions, salary increases, or other considerations.

About the Exam

The exam has been made available since September 2002.

The current test as of August 3, 2009 has been based on the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Asthma Expert Panel Report 3 (NHLBI EPR3) view the website at:  www.nhlbi.org

  • 175 questions (25 questions are pre-test)
  • 3 1/2 hours time frame to take exam
  • $295 (new/recerts) or $195 (repeat test)
  • Credential Valid for 7 years

Scheduling the Exam

  • Receive notification of eligibility
  • First come, first serve basis
  • Can reschedule once at no cost  


As of 2013, the NAECB allows previously certified asthma educators to submit continuing education units as well as a fee to recertify. Otherwise the certified individual has to re-take the NAECB exam. Go to their website for more details.


Asthma Educator Preparatory Courses (live class, web-based, or CD/book type) and other asthma education resources. To locate an Asthma Educator Preparation Course that fits your needs, click on the links below for more information.

To learn more about the NAECB and becoming a certified asthma educator go to www.naecb.org.



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