First time poster and finishing my last semester in Nursing School right now. I was curious as to the most helpful or sought out certificates for an ICU nurse. I will be applying for ICU positions and practicum soon and would like a heads up and create a plan to obtain additional certifications whether I get an ICU position out the gate or later in life.
I appreciate all the feedback on what people think are essentials and what is not.
CCRN. It will be later in life. See aacn.org for further information. Of note, you can also join AACN as a student and attend local meetings. Networking is powerful.
Everything that is needed for you to complete your job will be provided by your employer. The most common one for ICU nurses to obtain is CCRN, however, certifications without experience are meaningless, so focus on getting the experience first. Additionally, most certifications require experience to obtain.
And to get the experience, you need to be hired. The things that will matter most: 1) Grades 2) BSN vs ADN 3) Your ability to network 4) Apply everywhere.
The most important are 3 and 4, in my opinion. 4 is math. 3, people hire those they're comfortable with. I have a friend that had mediocre grades and an ADN. He applied to a position that had over 600 applicants for 11 slots. His application standing on its own would not have even gotten him an interview. However, he networked and found someone to intro him to the hiring manager. 5 minute conversation and a sure.. put in an app and I'll look at it. Who got the job? Him or 200 BSNs with 3.75+ GPAs? Since the point of my story is networking, you know the answer. The story repeats itself with different people, constantly. Start networking at critical care meetings. Certifications won't help you now, and it's probably too late to change grades that'll be final before you apply. Most residencies hire before you graduate (in my area at least).
I would not worry about certifications at the moment. Pass your NCLEX get a job and learn your role. In six or so months buy a CCRN book and review to support your growing base of knowledge and work thru some of the questions and look things up you miss. I know nurses who have CCRN and some who don't. If it is something that means something to you, then go for it but unless you are getting paid more for it or will use it to ladder it just feels like another money grab from another organization. Better advance your degrees than worry about certifications.
Not all jobs provide more than the basic certifications, some do. You can choose jobs that offer them or begin "collecting" them yourself. Some require no experience, other than an RN license, others require 2 years experience before getting certified.
For ICU certifications a few great ones to start with (almost always provided by hospitals)
More advanced (Not always provided by hospital)
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