Certification in Nursing School?


Hi All!

I start the nursing program in June (YAY), and every now and again I check jobs in my area and most say "BLS & ACLS Certifications". Do we automatically get certified during nursing school? Or is that something separate we do after school?


Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,339 Posts

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

BLS will be required to participate in clinicals. Your school may provide it or you may be responsible for finding a course on your own. I can't imagine any school would require ACLS, and therefore it would not be provided. ACLS may be provided by an employer following hire if it is required for the job, although having it may make one look the more attractive applicant. Depending on the facility, not every position will require ACLS. My facility only provides ACLS for nurses who respond to codes, ICU, step-down, trauma, ER, CRNA, and select staff members in the OR/periop areas.


102 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, CVICU. Has 3 years experience.

BLS is normally required before you enter nursing school. ACLS isn't required and schools don't normally teach it. You have to find a training center that provides the class. It normally costs around $200-300 and takes two days.

ACLS is pretty much just BLS 2.0. It expands on BLS and adds more skills and critical thinking.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

BLS, as stated, is a requirement. ALCS is a cherry on top. We do not include ACLS as a consideration for hire with a new grad, as we do not feel they have the experience to back it up. But we do not consider anyone without American Heart Asso. Healthcare Provider. Anything you get online, without a competency lab, is a scam, IMHO. You need to prove you can do the physical part.


336 Posts

I got my bls for health care providers at a community college for about 80 dollars. And its most likely to be completed before school and clinicals start. So find a class quick!


120 Posts

Thank you for the feedback!!

Specializes in Neuro Intensive Care. Has 1 years experience.

I had to be BLS certified before I started clinicals. My school offered the class, but I found one in my town for cheaper through an ambulance company. Double check to see what your clinical requirements are.

Has 11 years experience.

Just a general tip for everyone: BLS instructors often offer group discounts. Gather a group of classmates and enjoy the savings :)


170 Posts

I got BLS through the American Red Cross. Maybe they have some sort of class coming up.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Almost every Fire Department has a community service / outreach requirement in addition to fighting fires and doing ambulance runs. Drop by your local fire house and ask who's the AHA or ARC Instructor and see what it will cost you to have a group class. Most of the time it's cost of materials only, since the FD isn't supposed to make profit off community service. Have fun!


120 Posts

Thanks everyone! I contacted my school and was informed that they offer it at the school... :)