Take ACLS before last semester of Nursing School? - page 2

by libby11

2,454 Views | 16 Comments

Just looking for opinions... Would it be wise to take ACLS before/during the semester of nursing school... 1.) to have that knowledge/experience and 2.) to be more marketable to potential employers/distinguish self from... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Esme12
    I can't see it as an advantage....it is a course in ADVANCED Cardiac Life support and students haven't mastered the basics. I would prefer a new grad concentrate on their last semesters in school as this time cannot be repeated......ACLS can. I am curious however.......Are you aware that Paramedics are ACLS certified? Their experience in "the field" alone will give the paramedic the advantage. In an Emergency Department setting along with acquired skills, like IV starts and assessment, that will give that Paramedic the edge.

    As a tech in an Emergency Department I am sure that you have experiences that exceed your fellow students and other students that are techs in other departments......but I am unclear as to how it was up to you to "determine" that the patient had a STEMI and "prepped the patient for the cath lab" when without a license you can't administer the necessary meds and sign any of the consents.

    Every member is a valuable part of the team....I am not negating your importance in your position nor disregarding your experience, but recognition of your scope of practice is an important factor when working in healthcare......even when you become a nurse. Any student that works at the bedside has an advantage when starting in the field....they are familiar with the "lingo" and the rhythm of the hospital which will give them an edge when first on the floors.

    However, it is Your individual demographic area, and what hospitals want, that will change according to your area and what may give you an edge.....your networking endeavors should reflect your local market.

    Good Luck in school! I wish all of "you" the best!!!
    As for the prepping them for cath lab, we were required to trim the patient, prepare at least 3 EKG's, gather belongings, direct family to the waiting area. Yes, not direct patient care, but it was within my scope of practice at the time. I have taken numerous EKG courses, and have taken blood from patients for the lab when they couldn't get to the patient in sufficient time prior to the patient going to cath lab. Things like that.

    I know that paramedics have more experience, but at the same time, I don't think a new nurse should be overlooked for specialties, simply because they are new.
  2. 0
    Quote from CP2013
    I am referring to the 5 paramedics in my class that have been out of practice for 4+ years though, I feel that while they very well may have field experience and be ACLS certified, I shouldn't be negated as a candidate because of that.

    I think part of the problem is ageism in the nursing field as well, as these paramedics are all 40+ and I am under 30. It's unfair, but sadly true. It's a tough world for new grads out there and I was just hoping to be able to show my determination and drive.

    If I don't have a job within 6 months, I plan to go overseas with family instead.

    And being out of practice for 4+ years means that their ACLS and PALS certs have expired.

    At my school we only do BLS every 2 years. So when I am eligible for hire, I will only have BLS, like all 2000+ other grads flooding the area. (Unless they are current EMS/Medic/LPN, etc)
  3. 1
    New grads who take ACLS have a piece of paper that proves nothing. Really. They'll be much better off if they take ACLS when they have some clinical experience to which to relate it. If I were hiring I'd look at a new grad with all sorts of certs (and no other practical RN work experience) and wonder who's had smoke blown where-- the student, for believing someone who told them they would help them get a lock on a job, or me, because this student believes this will really impress me. And then... how much other foolishness will come with it? New grad = new grad. Don't think you're fooling anyone about that. Sorry.
    libby11 likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from GrnTea
    New grads who take ACLS have a piece of paper that proves nothing. Really. They'll be much better off if they take ACLS when they have some clinical experience to which to relate it. If I were hiring I'd look at a new grad with all sorts of certs (and no other practical RN work experience) and wonder who's had smoke blown where-- the student, for believing someone who told them they would help them get a lock on a job, or me, because this student believes this will really impress me. And then... how much other foolishness will come with it? New grad = new grad. Don't think you're fooling anyone about that. Sorry.
    Good to know. No wonder new grads are filling their resumes with volunteer experience and waiting two years for jobs. We try to hard and we blow smoke! Haha

    But in all seriousness, I was just going off what I was told by clinical instructors. Guess they are wrong. I have my paperwork together in case I need to call in a favor overseas to get a job.

    Thanks for the word of advice!
  5. 0
    Quote from CP2013
    And being out of practice for 4+ years means that their ACLS and PALS certs have expired.

    At my school we only do BLS every 2 years. So when I am eligible for hire, I will only have BLS, like all 2000+ other grads flooding the area. (Unless they are current EMS/Medic/LPN, etc)
    I feel for you I really do. I did not mean to upset you......although it is obvious I did. ANY experience will be useful in your search for a position, including yours as an ED tech. I am not negating your experience for that will count but so will the medics experience. Shaving a patients groin is important and knowing how to perform an EKG is as well, so is the ability to draw blood....that alone will give you an advantage........but lets be clear the decision making experience the medics will have from their street experience is very different than the decision making you utilize as a tech.....The medics still have their EMT-P and their experience on the street will count as well. They may even have their ACLS as well.

    Please.......follow your instructors advice. They know your local job market and what the hospitals in your area may be looking for......I am just saying as a hiring manager a new grad with ACLS isn't weighed any greater than a new grad who does not.....but like I said that depends on your demographic.....where you live. I look at overall experience. New grads are not "overlooked" in specialties but their newness of their skills and decision making process weighs heavily on a hiring managers mind. ANY new grad requires guidance and further education at the bedside to allow them the time necessary to assimilate all the information they have learned into practice....the EMT-P will have this challenge as well for they need to learn how to be a nurse.

    The job market really stinks right now and for that I am sorry....new grads are considered for "specialty" positions but they are few and far between. Your experience as a tech, while it gives you "technical skill", does not provide the critical thinking skills necessary for these critical care areas that require a strong knowledge base in the basics so you can build upon this base with advanced concepts to make the critical split second decisions that patients depend on in providing optimal care in these areas.

    Ageism does exist in nursing...but not the way you think. Hospitals do not like older nurses, for they cost money. Hospitals aren't hiring new grads right now because they are too cheap to train them. The job market stinks nation wide...there may be jobs posted but hospitals aren't hiring. Going overseas is an option but search the forums......many other countries are having the same issues as the US....it's a global economy. The job market is not fair to new grads....these is no denying that.......the job market is bad for all college grads with 50% (in some studies) unable to find jobs in their field of study.

    I wish you the best of luck as you finish school and begin your journey as a nurse.
  6. 0
    Quote from Esme12

    I feel for you I really do. I did not mean to upset you......although it is obvious I did. ANY experience will be useful in your search for a position, including yours as an ED tech. I am not negating your experience for that will count but so will the medics experience. Shaving a patients groin is important and knowing how to perform an EKG is as well, so is the ability to draw blood....that alone will give you an advantage........but lets be clear the decision making experience the medics will have from their street experience is very different than the decision making you utilize as a tech.....The medics still have their EMT-P and their experience on the street will count as well. They may even have their ACLS as well.

    Please.......follow your instructors advice. They know your local job market and what the hospitals in your area may be looking for......I am just saying as a hiring manager a new grad with ACLS isn't weighed any greater than a new grad who does not.....but like I said that depends on your demographic.....where you live. I look at overall experience. New grads are not "overlooked" in specialties but their newness of their skills and decision making process weighs heavily on a hiring managers mind. ANY new grad requires guidance and further education at the bedside to allow them the time necessary to assimilate all the information they have learned into practice....the EMT-P will have this challenge as well for they need to learn how to be a nurse.

    The job market really stinks right now and for that I am sorry....new grads are considered for "specialty" positions but they are few and far between. Your experience as a tech, while it gives you "technical skill", does not provide the critical thinking skills necessary for these critical care areas that require a strong knowledge base in the basics so you can build upon this base with advanced concepts to make the critical split second decisions that patients depend on in providing optimal care in these areas.

    Ageism does exist in nursing...but not the way you think. Hospitals do not like older nurses, for they cost money. Hospitals aren't hiring new grads right now because they are too cheap to train them. The job market stinks nation wide...there may be jobs posted but hospitals aren't hiring. Going overseas is an option but search the forums......many other countries are having the same issues as the US....it's a global economy. The job market is not fair to new grads....these is no denying that.......the job market is bad for all college grads with 50% (in some studies) unable to find jobs in their field of study.

    I wish you the best of luck as you finish school and begin your journey as a nurse.
    No offense really, I just know that I have to be able to be confident in myself and defend myself, because no one else is going to do so. No one is going to bat for me, resume in hand to hiring managers. Oh I wish they would though! Haha

    Well I have family overseas and have a job waiting if I want it, but I love the US. It's familiar, so I don't want to leave, but I also don't want to be miserable and without a job for 2 years like some new grads are.

    As for new grads, we span decades, and it seems anyone over 35 lands a job do much easier than those under 30. I guess life experience matters?
  7. 0
    Thanks for the input everyone. So far, it seems smart to wait until I get into practice and get the feel for the real world before I make such a decision. I appreciate the replies
    Last edit by libby11 on Sep 18, '12 : Reason: typo


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