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ACLS class as a student? good or pointless?

Job Hunt   (22,925 Views 47 Comments)

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I will be graduating in May with my BSN in nursing. I don't have any healthcare experience at all, except maybe volunteering years ago. I was in the military 4yrs ago (so I have that experience). A lot of other students are working in healthcare and I'm not. I was thinking of taking an acls certification class in a few weeks. I really wanted to take the pals certification class (well both of them) since i hope to work in peds but the pals is a little more expensive. Anyway, I was hoping this would help build my resume. Any thoughts?????

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

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If you have the money for the class(es), ACLS/PALS as a new grad can't hurt and may help a little by showing your initiative, as well as showing potential employers that they don't have to worry about getting it for you since you already have it...it did for me based on the feedback I received when I did my own new grad trials.

In addition, some jobs may require or "strongly prefer" that you have ACLS and/or PALS when applying...usually not your basic med/surg job though.

If you don't have the cash for the classes, IMO don't sweat it too much. ACLS/PALS won't guarantee you a job. Also, if an employer wants/needs you to have these certification classes, they'll most likely pay for you to take them when you are hired.

Best of luck in the job hunt.

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19 Posts; 1,755 Profile Views

I will be graduating in May with my BSN in nursing. I don't have any healthcare experience at all, except maybe volunteering years ago. I was in the military 4yrs ago (so I have that experience). A lot of other students are working in healthcare and I'm not. I was thinking of taking an acls certification class in a few weeks. I really wanted to take the pals certification class (well both of them) since i hope to work in peds but the pals is a little more expensive. Anyway, I was hoping this would help build my resume. Any thoughts?????

I completely agree with Meriwhen - it shows initiative and if you have the extra $, then it's a good investment. I've had about 4 interviews since graduating. I have a strong healthcare/public health background. And three of the hiring managers asked if I had ACLS (which I don't). Needless to say, I'm still unemployed. Now, I'm seriously looking into getting the ACLS certification. Check to see if your university offers discounts for recent grads/students or by getting multiple people to certify at a time. In my area there is a $50 discount for students. Good luck.

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BostonFNP specializes in Adult Internal Medicine, Hospitalist.

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I am still on the fence about ACLS and whether it helps, hinders, or doesn't have any bearing on job interviews.

I may vary depending on where you work, and if you are a good candidate, they will pay to train you if it is required. If this is for a RN job remember that much of ACLS falls out of an RN scope of practice in many settings. You also need to maintain BLS.

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1,029 Posts; 15,809 Profile Views

Acls wasn't hard. As a student it really helped me understand things better! I suggest doing it! Our school paid for it though. Or rather, my tuition paid for it!

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Mully specializes in SICU.

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I think that ACLS boosts your resume when it's coupled with the fact that you've been to and helped run a ton of codes. Otherwise I agree that yes, it shows you're interested in continuing your education and hospitals love people with certifications so I don't think it'd be bad to take it, especially if you know you need it for where you want to be. Just know that you need to be efficient at basic 12 lead interpretation (i.e. Vfib, Vtach, Mobitz I/II, 3rd degree heart block, etc.) I took a basic EKG class through the hospital before ACLS and it helped tremendously. You sound like a go-getter which means you'll do just fine, regardless of when you take this class :).

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JeanettePNP has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy.

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I had ACLS/PALS certification and IV certification, all of which I paid for out of pocket (and no, I did not exactly have spare cash lying around). I also signed up for membership in various professional nursing associations. In the end it was all worth zip. My ACLS expired a year ago and my PALS will expire in a month, and I do not plan to renew.

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Mully specializes in SICU.

5 Articles; 272 Posts; 19,406 Profile Views

I had ACLS/PALS certification and IV certification, all of which I paid for out of pocket (and no, I did not exactly have spare cash lying around). I also signed up for membership in various professional nursing associations. In the end it was all worth zip. My ACLS expired a year ago and my PALS will expire in a month, and I do not plan to renew.

Where do you work Jeanette? I guess it's definitely worth saying that the OP needs to think about where they want to get a job. I knew I wanted to be in the fast paced stuff, whether that was ICU or ER. I ended up on a very busy Stepdown unit and I'm on the code team, so I need ACLS. If you plan on going to a long term care facility, med surg, or you don't have a plan where you want to go, then I would say don't waste any time on ACLS. If you're like me, and love being in the middle of teaching someone about diabetes only to drop everything, sprint down the hall, and start banging on someone's chest, then maybe ACLS is a good idea...

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I dont think it would do that much to help you...many hospitals offer ACLS and PALS classes free of charge and will even pay you to take the class as if it is a normal day at work. I am a new nurse on orientation on a Med/Surg floor and I had no medical experience whatsoever and I dont have ACLs either. But I will offer a free pointer for interviews since Ive been told I was great at interviewing by 2 hospitals where I was hired at both on the spot- when they ask have you applied anywhere else? Tell them no, they are your first choice and make sure you blow smoke up their butts-it works. Tell them what can you offer? Your willingness to learn, you read nursing journals on your free time. And teamwork. Said all this at both and it worked. Weaknesses-tell them all the things you didnt get to do a lot of in nursing school-such as communicating wiht MDs,delegation, IVs etc. I never mentioned anything of my personality as a weakness. On your application, since like myself you dont have medical experience, I put every skill that I have ever done in clinical by site as if it was a job history. Patient load,assessments,care plans, catheters, IV antibiotics etc. They never asked me about any of my past jobs and I did not list them on my resume. And be persistent. I applied to like 10 units per hospital until I got emailed for an interview. Dont waste your money your job will be willing to train you.

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emerjensee has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency, LTC.

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I'm currently an LPN and a student getting my RN in March of 13'

I just took my ACLS class last week and really enjoyed it! It wasnt a super hard class, just read the book ahead of time and enjoyed the stories from the paramedics. :)

I did it in preperation for my senior practicum in the ER starting next week and also as a resume builder. I'm all about the enducation so I say go for it!!

-emerjensee

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marcos9999 has 5 years experience as a MSN, RN.

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I think is always a good thing but you don't really need it if you are not going into either ER or OB or ICU. If you are interested in any of these areas you should do it but it will be a waste of time and money if your're going into Med Surg. In my case it worked. I got a job in a rural hospital where RN's have to work the ER from time to time and they were thrilled I had ACLS and PALS

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