Questions on ACLS certification

  1. Hello everyone,

    After getting my RN license in 2010 I remained in my first career got married and started a family. FFWD 2013 I am now completing my BSN (2 more weeks at OU) and would like to get into nursing. I was thinking about getting my ACLS certification.

    Has anyone taken the American Heart Association courses? I was thinking classroom because I would like the hands on experience. Any advice would be welcomed.

    Thank you,

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    About Mrs149

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 26; Likes: 3


  3. by   SquishyRN
    Brush up on basic arrhythmias and review the drugs used during a code. Perhaps you would want to take the AHA's ECG and Pharmacology course that is recommended for those taking ACLS for the first time if it is offered by the location you wish to take ACLS. If you review the book well enough prior to going to the ACLS class, however, you should be ok without the ECG and pharmacology class.
  4. by   Kidrn911
    Just took it again after 5 years, wasn't that bad. Know your rhythmns and read the book
    This helped me

  5. by   Racer15
    I waited until I got my first job so that I wouldn't have to pay for it. My hospital covers the course fee, which is around $250 I believe.
  6. by   missnurse01
    yes classroom over internet, esp for first time! and it may help you land a job, otherwise just put on app that you are planning on taking it asap, so maybe you get hired then they pay for it! If it is required for your job.
  7. by   classicdame
    be wary of online assistance as they may not be following the current AHA guidelines. Hospitals in my area will only accept AHA courses, although there are some companies that offer courses "based" on AHA guidelines. These are scams, in my opinion, especially if they do not require the same competency demonstrations. The course work should be CURRENT (2010 was the last update). The last time I looked at skillstat they were using 2005 guidelines.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    I've taken the classroom-based American Heart Association ACLS course twice through my workplace, once in 2011 and the second time happened to be yesterday. My place of employment paid for the course.

    However, we do not keep any of the drugs on the algorithm in stock such as epinephrine or lidocaine, so I really wonder why my workplace even bothers to offer ACLS.

    I definitely recommend the classroom-based course if you've never taken ACLS before.
  9. by   turnforthenurse
    When taking ACLS for the first time, definitely go the classroom route instead of online. Most employers also only recognize the course through the AHA.

    If you want to take ACLS, make sure you know your rhythms, as this course does not teach you how to read rhythms but instead how to intervene and treat them. I would honestly wait on taking the course, however. ACLS generally costs around $200-$250 and most, if not all, employers will pay for you take the course when you are hired, so you'll save money that way.
  10. by   VANurse2010
    I know a lot of people on this board will not agree with this but here goes...

    I don't think it'll be very useful to you as a new nurse without using it in context of a workplace setting. It's very forgettable without some kind of experience and context. Also, as has been mentioned above, it's expensive and usually covered by the employer if they want you to have it.
  11. by   Esme12
    I have take ACLS since the early eighties.......if this is your first time you would definitely benefit from the classroom. Re-certs however are fine for online. THey also count for CEU's.
  12. by   akulahawkRN
    I'm generally in the same camp as Esme12. I've taken ACLS (and PALS and PHTLS) quite a few times, but not as many times... You really do need to take ACLS in person the first time or even first couple times you take the course. Then, if your employer will accept an online course, go ahead and take that, whichever one the employer will accept as equivalent. If you're in an environment where using that knowledge is rarely used/needed, I might suggest taking the in-person version instead as there's a definite rhythm (pardon the pun) to doing ACLS, and spending some time refreshing your psychomotor skills can only be helpful.

    Will I renew my ACLS as I near completion of nursing school? Of course, along with PALS and PHTLS... but that's for my other license.
  13. by   Mrs149
    Thank you all. I agree that without having a job in nursing you don't use it you loose it. But how do you get a job? Several people graduate in summer and fall with nursing degrees and the are having difficulty finding employment. I thought/think certifications would help me gain some sort of experience.

    Hopefully something will come up soon.
  14. by   classicdame
    Be aware that www.skillstat has not updated their materials in more than years. American Heart is now using 2010 guidelines, not the 2000 guidelines on that website. You do not want to be confused by learning the wrong thing.