ACLS question

  1. I'm a BSN student going into my final year (starting this Fall). I've passed all my Med/Surg courses, pharmacology, etc. with A's (and a B in advanced med/surg).
    I don't have anything school-related to do this summer, so I'm thinking about taking an ACLS course. My question is, at this point in my education, am I prepared for it? What do they teach, and what do I need in my background to pass? Should I wait until I'm a licensed nurse and have some nursing experience?
    Thank you for any insight you can offer
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    About RNMeg, BSN

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 462; Likes: 307
    Critical Care RN; from US
    Specialty: NeuroICU/SICU/MICU

    14 Comments

  3. by   sahm02
    I would wait until you are on the floor. At this point you are just going to be memorizing to pass the class where on the floor you can see and apply what you have learned from the class such as drugs, ekg strips etc. You at least have to have BLS to take the course I believe..
  4. by   RNMeg
    I actually already have BLS, it's required for my program. Thanks for your response, though, that makes sense
  5. by   Higgs
    If you're doing well in school, then why not take a summer off and enjoy doing nothing? Once you graduate and you start all those long shifts, some sunny summer beach memories will be invaluable!
  6. by   RNMeg
    Higgs, that's a very good point..it's so hard to turn off the school/overachiever part of me for 3 whole months!
  7. by   MassED
    Quote from MegRN2B
    I'm a BSN student going into my final year (starting this Fall). I've passed all my Med/Surg courses, pharmacology, etc. with A's (and a B in advanced med/surg).
    I don't have anything school-related to do this summer, so I'm thinking about taking an ACLS course. My question is, at this point in my education, am I prepared for it? What do they teach, and what do I need in my background to pass? Should I wait until I'm a licensed nurse and have some nursing experience?
    Thank you for any insight you can offer
    I'd suggest you wait until you have experience as a nurse before you take the course. Of course, you might do great on it.
  8. by   k_gabelko_FNP
    Why don't you just take it easy or study a foreign language or take an exotic cooking class or learn scuba, etc etc. I took ACLS as a brand new grad and it was most unpleasant. I agree with the other nurses who said to wait til you're on a tele floor. When I went to work in tele and took the class it was so much more relevant and thus I found it easier. Now, 15 years down the road, I just renewed my ACLS for the 8th time and I actually enjoyed it. But I will never forget how nervous I was that first time, how stupid I felt... and how unnecessary it was that I do that. Your last year in nursing school is going to be quite challenging, I wouldn't stress myself anymore than I had to.

    I wish you luck in your program and congratulate you on your career choice. Katrina
  9. by   Aneroo
    I would wait.
    1- You want some experience to back it up (constantly looking at strips, analyzing causes, etc).
    2- Your facility will probably pay for it.
  10. by   GilaRRT
    Why wait? ACLS is not exactly a class for the medical genius. BLS is the primary emphasis with medications significantly de-emphasized. Intubation is no more important than mask techniques or supra-glottic airways. In addition, the super hard strip analysis component of ACLS consists of very basic rhythms and being able to tell a shockable rhythm from a non-shockable rhythm. Asystole versus ventricular fibrillation anybody?

    ACLS is more of a review of current AHA recommendations than a strict educational experience. In addition, nearly any level of provider can take ACLS from Basic EMT's to physicians.

    ACLS is a one day basic level course. You should do fine if you choose to take ACLS.
  11. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    I'd say take it. As a new grad you need anything you can get in order to set yourself apart from the legion of competition. Having your ACLS shows that you're a go-getter and are doing everything you can to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can.

    Of course you'd get more out of it with experience but having it might make it a bit easier to get that experience in the present (and likely continuing) job market. Now is not the time to take it easy over the summer; now is the time to bust your a** and set yourself apart from the crowd.
  12. by   RNMeg
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    As a new grad you need anything you can get in order to set yourself apart from the legion of competition.
    See, this is what I was thinking. I'm hoping it will help me with my capstone/preceptorship placement, and also jobs after I graduate.
  13. by   johnst10
    I would have to agree with those who say wait. Taking the course will show initiative, but it most likely will not help you as much as it will once you have started working. In fact, as a manager, I might wonder if you are just trying to KB, not really wanting to apply the knowledge by taking ACLS before you even graduate.

    Good gravy, you live is Tuscon. There must be more to do there than sit in air conditioning and study. Or were you going to read poolside? :chuckle
  14. by   kwong30
    Quote from MegRN2B
    See, this is what I was thinking. I'm hoping it will help me with my capstone/preceptorship placement, and also jobs after I graduate.
    I think you should just enjoy your summer. Take ACLS when you get hired into the unit that requires it so you get reimbursed. ACLS is not a difficult course and I think everyone passes. The other 2 new grads did not take ACLS nor was it asked during a job interview.

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