If you’re set on becoming a licensed acupuncture physician in Florida (or elsewhere), then deciding which acupuncture school to attend is perhaps the most important career decision you can make.
Because acupuncture school is expensive and will require at least three years to complete, you need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of every prospective program that you’re considering enrolling in.
In this article, we will discuss the two most important criteria to look for when evaluating an acupuncture school in Florida: ACAOM-Accreditation and Florida Acupuncture Board Program Approval.
We will cover these two major points, because they essentially determine whether or not you can even apply to become a licensed acupuncture physician in Florida.
Other important criteria, such as cultural fit, job placement, average debt owned, will be covered in a future blog.
ACAOM-Accreditation and State of Florida Approval
ACAOM-Accreditation: If you only take away one piece of information from this blog, it’s this: the most important thing to look for in an acupuncture school is ACAOM-accreditation.
The reason for this is that 47-states and Washington, DC legally require passing examinations given by NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) in order to gain a license for practice.
In order to sit for the NCCAOM exams, you must first complete a graduate program from an ACAOM-accredited college. ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) is the professional-accreditation organization recognized by the US Department of Education for the training and regulation of Oriental Medicine (including acupuncture) in the US.
So, in a nutshell, if you’re considering applying to an acupuncture school that is not ACAOM-approved, then it’s probably best move on and find one that is.
There’s little point in studying for years without even being able to apply for a job afterward.
Florida Acupuncture Board Approval: If you’re set on practicing acupuncture in Florida, then you will need to make sure that the program you’re considering enrolling in meets the requirements set by State of Florida Acupuncture Board.
Currently, the Florida Board requires completion of a 4-year master’s level program from an ACAOM-accredited acupuncture school.
Note that “4-years” refers to a traditional academic year, which is 2-semesters per calendar year. However, it is common for Florida acupuncture schools to use trimesters, which allows for a “4-year program” to be completed in 3 calendar years.
Additionally, the Florida Acupuncture Board requires the following course-work:
- Western Anatomy
- Western Physiology
- Western Pathology
- Western Biomedical Terminology
- First Aid
- Supervised Instruction in Universal Precautions Applicable to Needling Techniques (15 hours)
- Florida Laws and Rules (20 hours)
In order to be granted licensure to practice acupuncture in Florida, you will need to pass the following NCCAOM Exam modules:
- Foundations of Oriental Medicine Module
- Acupuncture Module
- Point Location Module
- Biomedicine Module
- Chinese Herbology Module
Because every acupuncture school in Florida is different, some programs may not meet the eligibility requirements for state licensure. For example, a particular school may offer acupuncture training, but no training in western medicine or Chinese herbal medicine, meaning that you won’t qualify to sit for the Biomedicine or Chinese herbology exam module.
Consequently, you’ll be ineligible to become an acupuncturist in Florida, until you meet the requirements to pass the exams.
Keep in mind that it is possible for a program to be ACAOM-accredited, but still not meet Florida eligibility requirements.
Always ask an admissions representative if the program meets the requirements for Florida licensure.
The Oriental Medicine program at Acupuncture and Massage College is ACAOM-accredited and meets the requirements for state of Florida licensing requirements to sit for the required NCCAOM exams. If you’re interested in learning more about our program, please request more information using the button below. You can also call our us 305-595-9500 or visit our campus at 10506 North Kendall Drive, Miami, FL 33176.