Are too many certifications a bad thing?

  1. As a new RN grad I've been working hard at attaining all kinds of certifications and course completions. ACLS, PALS, ATLS, Rapid STEMI identification, Stroke assessment, with NRP, TNCC, and CCRN coming up soon. Thankfully as an echocardiographer I've convinced the hospital I work at to send me to all these classes on thier dime. But I'm not a staff RN here yet.

    Does a med/surg hiring manager look at that and think "he'll jump ship and go to speciality critical care as soon as he can." Does that reduce my chances for a job?
    Last edit by Ruger8mm on Aug 10, '15
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    About Ruger8mm, ADN, RN, EMT-B

    Joined: Dec '14; Posts: 220; Likes: 519
    Registered Nurse and Advanced Clinical Sonographer (Cardiac); from MN , US

    145 Comments

  3. by   Pneumothorax
    have you considered going into ER or ICU as a new grad since you are trying to obtain critical care certs?

    some people truly love M/S and they go and get their CMSRN cert or PCCN cert. you seem like you are going in the other direction.

    give it a shot. apply for the ER/ICU jobs.. or even something like CV stepdown.


    i wouldnt try to get CCRN,TNCC, until you have some RN experience. some of that crap will just zoom right over your head and you want to thoroughly apply the knowledge you gain and the concepts not just "pass a test" for a piece of paper
  4. by   xoemmylouox
    I would think having those certs would be helpful. How long ago did you pass NCLEX?
  5. by   Ruger8mm
    Quote from xoemmylouox
    I would think having those certs would be helpful. How long ago did you pass NCLEX?
    Passed the NCLEX on May 2nd, 2015.
  6. by   Ruger8mm
    Quote from Pneumothorax
    have you considered going into ER or ICU as a new grad since you are trying to obtain critical care certs?

    some people truly love M/S and they go and get their CMSRN cert or PCCN cert. you seem like you are going in the other direction.

    give it a shot. apply for the ER/ICU jobs.. or even something like CV stepdown.


    i wouldnt try to get CCRN,TNCC, until you have some RN experience. some of that crap will just zoom right over your head and you want to thoroughly apply the knowledge you gain and the concepts not just "pass a test" for a piece of paper
    Up here they all require 1 year of Med/Surg/Peds prior to ED or ICU. I've talked with the ED and ICU hiring managers and they are sticking firm to this. However they did say they were excited to see my going above and beyond.

    You are right. I belong in high stress crisis situations. I live for that stuff. Med/surg can be a bit slow for my taste.
    Last edit by Ruger8mm on Aug 10, '15
  7. by   iPink
    Having those course certs are not an issue and it looks great on your resume. But, specialty certification such as CCRN or PCCN, I wouldn't take it until you're in the specialty and working those required hours to even sit for the test. Also, your hospital may offer to pay for those certifications through reimbursement when you pass.
  8. by   llg
    I think the is such a thing as "too much." Too many looks as though you don't have a focus area of interest -- and that is suspicious. However, as long as they are appropriate for someone of your experience level and relate to your work, you should be OK.

    Also, I'd be a little careful how I discussed all those certs. It's one thing to say, "Yes, I've been really lucky to have had the opportunity to get these certifications and wanted to take advantage of those opportunities as best I could." and quite another to say ... "I want to get as many certifications as I can and expect my employer to pay for an unlimited amount."

    The point is: You need to look at the big picture: that's what hiring managers do. Do you present a picture of yourself and your career plans that makes sense and seem attractive to a hiring manager? Too unusual or mixed up or scattered raises red flags.
  9. by   ThePrincessBride
    Don't some certs require two years of experience? I am pretty sure CCRN does.

    I wouldn't get so many certs as a new grad because they mean nothing without experience to back the up. Only exceptions are BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP...
  10. by   ThePrincessBride
    Don't some certs require two years of experience? I am pretty sure CCRN does.

    I wouldn't get so many certs as a new grad because they mean nothing without experience to back the up. Only exceptions are BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP...
  11. by   Ruger8mm
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    Don't some certs require two years of experience? I am pretty sure CCRN does.

    I wouldn't get so many certs as a new grad because they mean nothing without experience to back the up. Only exceptions are BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP...
    Yes CCRN requires two years of ICU experience to be certified. But one can still attend the classes and learn something prior to the two year requirement.

    I'm an EMT also so I would think TNCC would have value. ATLS did. But I could be wrong.
  12. by   SubSippi
    Even if you somehow managed to pass the CCRN, it wouldn't mean much to people hiring if you didn't have critical care experience. It might show that you can memorize a bunch of things for a test, but the experience behind the CCRN is what gets someone a second look. I think it would definitely imply to a M/S unit manager that you're planning on going into critical care.

    ACLS and PALS are always good to have, but you have a very slim chance of passing the CCRN, I wouldn't waste your time at this point. Honestly, if new grads with a year of med-surg under their belts were able to pass it then people would be about as impressed by that as they are about passing the NCLEX!
  13. by   SubSippi
    Quote from Wade B
    Yes CCRN requires two years of ICU experience to be certified. But one can still attend the classes and learn something prior to the two year requirement.

    I'm an EMT also so I would think TNCC would have value. ATLS did. But I could be wrong.
    CCRN actually requires only one year of acute care experience, not specifically critical care. So technically someone with only one year of med-surg would qualify.
  14. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from Wade B
    Up here they all require 1 year of Med/Surg/Peds prior to ED or ICU. I've talked with the ED and ICU hiring managers and they are sticking firm to this. However they did say they were excited to see my going above and beyond.

    You are right. I belong in high stress crisis situations. I live for that stuff. Med/surg can be a bit slow for my taste.
    Trust me, M/S isn't slow. Patients there crash too.

    I think the certs will help you in that when you start applying to transfer, you'll already have them in hand.

    The only consideration I see is having certs like NRP, CCRN, and TNCC when you are in M/S, where those skills are not useful. I would wait until I was closer to that year that you need to transfer; that way, the material will be fresher. Remember that when you have that certificate, you're telling prospective managers that you have the skills that come with those certifications.

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