Things like the NIHSS are free to get and show the employer you are willing to continue your education. ACLS, PALS, NRP and TNCC are all things I've seen the employers asking for in ER postings; however, they can get expensive. Most hospitals are willing to pay for you to get them when you are hired.
I was just about to post this same question, I graduated with my BSN in December 2012 and passed my state boards a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering if getting certifications prior to landing a position will help you, I am considering PALS, ACLS and a course on IVs; since my school did not teach us anything in regards to starting an IV. Will these be helpful on my resume and give me an advantage or is it a waste of money? I personally would love to land a job in critical care although I find it very difficult to as a new graduate. Thanks for any input and sorry slegarreta for jumping in on your post, I didn't want to start another one on the same exact topic.