ACLS certification

by jab89 jab89 (New) New

Hello all, I am about to head in my last semester of nursing school, and will be graduating December 2013. What do ya'll think about the benefit of getting certified in ACLS this summer to help me land a job when I graduate? Or should I wait until I find an RN job later so the hospital I work for can pay for it? Money really isn't an issue, I just want the maximum amount of experience when finding a job when I graduate.


missnurse01, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience. 1,280 Posts

Sure it will be a great thing to list on your resume. You might think about taking a telemetry course first, as they usually recommend it for first time acls takers. good luck

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

I just graduated and I took an ACLS course. It's very doable. I had a job interview for a critical care residency before I'd actually taken the course that went well, so I can't tell if it helped me or not. They told me, "We require ACLS within a year of employment" and I replied, "I'm scheduled to take an ACLS course next week!" They smiled. I think the most you can really hope for with this certification is to prove that you are a passionate learner and that you will put in extra time and effort. I don't know that as a new grad it will help you in any way beyond that. Anyway, I did get that job, so who knows!

I honestly recommend it anyway just for the learning experience. I'm very glad I've taken it because now I feel like I will really know what is going on in a code and I will be a lot more helpful than if I was just confused about what was going to happen next, and this will be very relevant for me because I got hired in a MICU. If you are not planning to work in an area that sees frequent codes, it may be less helpful for you.

My advice for you if you decide to do it is to get a book well in advance of your test date, at least a month. I only got my book a week ahead and I was literally studying for hours a day. There is a lot of information in that book. You don't need to know it cover to cover for the class, but like I said it is very useful information. If you are still feeling overwhelmed, there are good internet resources for helping you. I used to study in the few days before the test. Yes, you do pay for access to the site, but they have a lot of review questions and a lot of megacode scenarios to help you prepare. I learn well through taking practice quizzes so I thought it was worth the $10 I put into it. I would also recommend using the SkillStat ECG Simulator, which is free, to help you get your rhythms down if you didn't cover them in detail in nursing school. I used these two resources and I breezed through the megacode and was the only person in the class to pass the written test with 100%, which is funny because I was the only nursing student in the room and everyone else was an experienced nurse. I hope this information was helpful.



244 Posts

It is typically recommended that you have a year experience before taking ACLS or PALS but I'm sure some new nurses have gotten through it just fine!

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing. 3,029 Posts

I took it two months after being licensed I got through it just fine and could have gotten through it just as well in my last semester before taking the NCLEX. I am in a direct-entry program and they grilled cardiac and telemetry (and we ran a mock code in the SIM lab once a semester) into us so I feel like I could read a tele strip in my sleep, lol!

I ended up getting a job where ACLS is not needed, but still found the course extremely valuable! Being part of a code seems much less scary after for me.



1 Post

Go get your ACLS Certification, worst case scenario, it will provide you with some additional skills. Most employers won't see you taking the extra effort as a negative quality. As for studying, don't listen to "calivianaya" and her sales pitch on the above mentioned websites, free or not, they have little relevance, and wont do you much good. Do your own research, find your own way, and make sure you get ACLS from an American Heart Association authorized provider.