Cardiac Step Down- ACLS Required for RN's?


  1. Does your Cardiac (Non-ICU) Inpatient Unit require ACLS for all RNs?

    • 8
      Yes. All RN's must obtain and maintain ACLS certification
    • 0
      No, Charge RN's have it and It is highly encouraged, but not all RNs have ACLS.
    • 0
      No- only the Charge RNs on my unit and maybe a few others have ACLS
    • 0
      No- Only a select few RNs have ACLS, and not all Charge RNs
    • 0
      No RNs on my unit have ACLS

8 members have participated

Greetings! I have been asked by my Medical Director to find out whether other Cardiac Step down units in the U.S. require ALL RN's to maintain ACLS Certification, or just the Charge Nurses?

IF you work in a Cardiac Step-Down unit or general Cardiac NON-ICU, will you please reply, "ALL" or Charge Nurses", or other helpful answers...and also perhaps include data on what kind of hospital you're in (Community vs University, etc?)

Thanks in advance- Your assistance is greatly appreciated. :)

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,348 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Our ICU, intermediate intensive care unit, and cardiac telemetry floors are required to have ACLS. At one point they decided the telemetry floors didn't need ACLS. Didn't last long...


838 Posts

All RNS in the CVICU, intermediate cardiac care unit and cardiac telemetry floors must have ACLS at my hospital.

Specializes in Surgical Critical Care.

Yup. All RNs in any floor where patients are on telemetry must be ACLS certified at my hospital.

Has 7 years experience.

Absolutely should be required for any type of step-down floor.

kiszi, RN

1 Article; 604 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

I work in a cardiac ICU and serve as a code team member. The majority of codes I go to occur on step-down units. So yeah, I'd say ACLS is essential. I believe it is required at my facility also, but not 100% sure.


58 Posts

I'm pretty sure all bedside nurses in my facility must have and maintain ACLS/PALS or ENPC certification.


14 Posts

My hospital requires all RNs be ACLS certified regardless of where you work. However, it is more important on ICU/CVICU and ICU/Cardiac Stepdown (where I work) because of the acuity. It is rare for a patient to code on Med/Surg and not common on Telemetry floors but they are still ACLS certified.

Jleb886, BSN

11 Posts

Specializes in CVICU. Has 8 years experience.

I worked in a cardiothoracic surgical stepdown, and now in the CTICU. At my hospital, ACLS is only required for ICU nurses. However, I took ACLS as soon as possible after becoming stepdown trained, and I found it very clinically relevant and helpful. Although it wasn't required, most if not all of the nurses i worked with in the SDU had ACLS.


916 Posts

Specializes in Critical care.

I worked on a tele unit before becoming an ICU nurse. The acuity could range from med-surg dumping ground to patients that should have been in stepdown. It was a very large level 2 trauma center affiliated with one of the top health systems in the state. No tele nurses had ACLS and it was something nurses on my unit really pushed for. The hospital did not want to pay for the certification and stated nurses just needed to know BLS and to start CPR because the code team would be there quickly to run it. I am now obviously ACLS certified and I wish I had done it sooner on my own.

Kuriin, BSN, RN

967 Posts

Specializes in Emergency. Has 7 years experience.

All telemetry unit RNs need to have ACLS. This includes ED, CCU, ICU, PCU, Cath lab, etc.

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

Every hospital I've ever worked in has all of the RN's ACLS certified, even the med-surg floors. The ICU's that I've worked in generally run their own codes.