P.A.L.S. and A.C.L.S....

  1. Dear Allnurses,

    I have enjoyed reading all of the bulletin boards!! But every time I do I come up with more questions!!! Don't worry, I won't ask for homework help :chuckle . So here goes another:

    1. I am CPR certified (of course) and in my 2nd sem. of an ADN prgm. I am very interested in ER nursing upon graduation, or Labor & Delivery. My Ques. is, how soon can I get PALS or ACLS cert. as I have heard that is required?? Is it a requirement fo ER?
    What about L&D? Can I realistically hope to find gainful employment in these areas or am I going to have to do a LTC plan? Thank you for any advice. BTW, I am in Chicago, but planning to move to NW IN when I am an RN!!!!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    I can't help you but I kind of have the same question as I am planning on working in an ICU. Do you have to get the certs before you get the job or does your job pay for you to get certified? Thanks to those in the know!
  4. by   neneRN
    You can get certifications before or after hire: you really need to get them ASAP for critical care areas. My hospital pays for the certifications necessary for your area of work, I would hope that most hospitals do the same. Some of my classmates got their ACLS during the last semester of school; I waited and took ACLS about 3 months after I started in the ER, and got my TNCC after a year in the ER.
    With the shortage, in general you can work any area right out of school. I went straight to ER.
  5. by   EmeraldNYL
    Sorry for my ignorance, but what does TNCC stand for? Thanks!
  6. by   Sally_ICURN
    When I was a student I took ACLS in the last half of my last year because I was planning to go into critical care. A lot of the meds were over my head at that time but once I started working I took it again (employer paid) before it was due to be renewed and it was so much better! The meds made so much more sense. I think having ACLS under your belt before you start working, especially in critical care but in any area really, is like the laying of the foundation. Working a bit and then going back again is building upon that foundation. One of my biggest fears when I first started out working was not being able to recognize if a patient was heading into a code and what to do if they were. I still have that fear, but I'm surprised by how much of my ACLS training comes back when I'm actually faced with that bad situation.

    My vote is to do it before AND a few months to a year after you start working!

    ~Sally
  7. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by EmeraldNYL
    ...what does TNCC stand for?
    I think it's Trauma Nursing Core Course or something like that.
  8. by   CountrifiedRN
    I think whether or not you can start in a specialty area as a new grad depends on the hospital and the need for nurses in that area. I recently went to a job fair and since there is a need for nurses in the ER, the hospital was offering positions there for new grads. First you have to go through a 12 week course, and then you get ACLS and PALS certified through the hospital, and then you are supposed to get a 6 week orientation.

    It sounds like a great program, unfortunately the hospital is about 45-60 minutes from where I live. I'm hoping that the hospital closest to me offers something similar.

    You can try calling or visiting hospitals near you to find out if they hire new grads for those areas.

    Sorry, don't know what TNCC stands for either.
  9. by   fab4fan
    TNCC=Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum (I think)
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Yep - TNCC - trauma nurse core curriculum. The ENA (emergency nurses association) is located in Chicago - they should be a wealth of info. I work in Peoria in level one trauma center - how about moving here?? We hire new grads!!! I've done some shifts at Loyola in the ER and its very similar. I would wait to get ACLS and PALS till after you graduate - just because it would mean more then, but its up to you.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I agree. Wait to get ACLS, NRP (required in OB), PALS or any other such course til you are finished w/school. you WILL Get more out of these courses if you do.
  12. by   fab4fan
    Wait until you get a job that requires PALS/ACLS; then your employer is responsible for sending you and paying for the course if it is a requirement for employment.
  13. by   sjoe
    When I got my TNCC (5 years ago in California) the title was Trauma Nursing Core Course, and that is the title on the card.

    These various certifications expire with time (TNCC--4 years for example), so it might be smart to wait until near graduation before earning them. Not much point in having an ACLS that expires just before graduation, is there (unless you were actually using it meanwhile)?
  14. by   BBFRN
    Sjoe is right- you might just have to take these courses over again. ACLS and PALS last for 2 years, and most hospitals pay for these as well as the TNCC, so just let them pay for the courses. They add up to a lot of money.

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