Take ACLS before last semester of Nursing School?

  1. 1
    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 peers ?
    Joe V likes this.
  2. Poll: Do you recommend taking ACLS before graduating nursing school?

    • Public View Results
    • All participants and their votes will be visible to the public.
  3. Get our hottest student topics delivered to your inbox.

  4. 2,470 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  5. 16 Comments so far...

  6. 0
    I would love to know this as well, really would love to get into a specialty after graduation, so I want to do all that I can to show my commitment to the profession!

    Would any hiring managers or department managers be willing to shed some light on this topic?
  7. 0
    I can tell you what my hiring manager said: She said there is really no need to have ACLS beforehand because hospitals offer that to employees anyway.

    Also, I don't know about where you live but here, taking ACLS on our own was going to be outrageously expensive. I can't remember exactly but I want to say it was around $800.
    Last edit by CrazierThanYou on Sep 16, '12 : Reason: I had more to say.
  8. 0
    It's also really helpful to have seen the information in action (seeing codes, reading EKGs, understanding arrhythmias, and how interventions are done) before you take the class. It will make it easier, at least. This also applies to NRP for those interested in a specialty that needs it. Recording for a code as many times as you can is a great precursor to taking a class like that. You will learn things you didn't even know you needed to know!
  9. 0
    I worked as ED tech for about a year, so I have gone through codes, and have a fairly extensive knowledge of EKG, at least compared to students who have never even placed a 12 lead, and had to determine if there was a STEMI and I needed to prep the patient to go to cath lab.

    In my area, ACLS is running $150 + $60 for the book. Together ACLS and PALS would cost me $500 I think. And employers in my area are willing to reimburse for the course if within 90 days of hire, and you have the receipt.

    I just thought it would be nice for my resume, trying to get into the ED, and even if I don't get reimbursed for the course, I just want something to have an edge up on all the EMT & paramedic applicants I will be competing with, and I want to look good on paper, at least get my foot in the door.
  10. 3
    You do not need it before graduating. Once you have a job, they will likely offer a class or reimburse for a class.

    If your like me, your BLS, ACLS, and PALS all have to be renewed the last semester and the schedule is going to be crazy.
    libby11, GrnTea, and CrazierThanYou like this.
  11. 3
    In my facility we do not see this as an advantage because the student has no experience to back up the decisions that have to be made during a code. We prefer they concentrate on graduation
    libby11, GrnTea, and CrazierThanYou like this.
  12. 1
    Quote from CP2013
    I worked as ED tech for about a year, so I have gone through codes, and have a fairly extensive knowledge of EKG, at least compared to students who have never even placed a 12 lead, and had to determine if there was a STEMI and I needed to prep the patient to go to cath lab.

    In my area, ACLS is running $150 + $60 for the book. Together ACLS and PALS would cost me $500 I think. And employers in my area are willing to reimburse for the course if within 90 days of hire, and you have the receipt.

    I just thought it would be nice for my resume, trying to get into the ED, and even if I don't get reimbursed for the course, I just want something to have an edge up on all the EMT & paramedic applicants I will be competing with, and I want to look good on paper, at least get my foot in the door.
    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!!!
    GrnTea likes this.
  13. 0
    What are you hoping to gain from it? Unless you work in a very specialized environment as an RN it would be outside of your SoP to use your ACLS training.
  14. 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!!!
    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.


Top