ACLS before graduating

  1. Does anyone have any opinion wheter or not it would be helpful to take emerg, critical care courses like ACLS and PALS before I graduate. Those are the areas I want to work in and I wonder if I would be more likely to get a job in one of those areas if I had the extra courses. Im not even sure if it is possible to take any of these before graduation.

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    About Chaundra

    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 26; Likes: 1
    BscN Student


  3. by   ShannonB25
    Hi Chaundra, if you are interested in working in a critical area such as ER or ICU, I think it would be beneficial to take such classes. As far as availability before graduation, I can share that my school offered ACLS last summer (between our junior and senior years) and I think that regardless of what area I go to work in, it will be helpful to know. Good luck to you!

    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  4. by   janine3&5
    Quite a few of the students in my nursing class have already completed their ACLS training--they took the class at area hospitals. I'm sure this looks great to any prospective employer.
  5. by   wsiab
    I took NRP before graduating, and several of my friends took ACLS. I did my preceptorship in L&D and found it useful, it helped increase my understanding of what was going on around me. Several of my friends did their preceptorships in ICU/OR/ED, they did ACLS over the summer or during the rotation, they also said they found it useful in increasing their awareness and understanding....

    As to whether it helps find a position after graduation, we graduated in December and all of us have jobs lined up in specialty areas. It depends on the hospital, some of them require certification for applicants, some don't, some include it in new grad program training. If you have a new grad program at a specific facility in mind, definitely familiarize yourself with their requirements and be prepared.

    I think it helps to be certified, it shows that you have taken initiative to learn material and skills relevant to the specialty areas you are interested in. At the very least it increases you skills and knowledge base. If you have the opportunity, Go For It!

  6. by   ratchit
    Looking for learning opportunities is great- good for you!

    But as an experienced ICU RN, I don't see how ACLS would actually help you- until you're licensed, you can't give meds; nurses don't defib or intubate in many hospitals- those are considered learning opportunities for residents. The nonteaching hospitals I've worked at have either had the ER doc or Resp Tx intubate and the ER doc or even the ER paramedic was the code captain.

    Take AClS or PALS as a learning opportunity- but I doubt it will be very useful in any practical manner for a while.
  7. by   Chaundra
    Thanks for the input. I think I will watch for the courses to come to our area and then try to take them, if only for my own learning. They don't often offer them here, up in northern alberta so I may have to wait a while or go to a city to take them.

  8. by   hollykate
    I would take either or both during the second semester of your last year. It may help you in the fact that you future employer would then not have to pay for you to take the class for a while. Don't take it if it will expire prior to graudation. ACLS and PALS aren't cheap, however. I was still hired into ICU without either (I made the mistake of taking it and letting it expire, because of course, I never used it.) The courses give you a lot of knowledge, but much of it doesn't become secure until you apply it about 50 or 60 times.
  9. by   seven
    chaundra, my friend, where you gonna find acls or pals in a cbl format?

  10. by   Chaundra
    Good point, about not letting it expire, I hadn't thought about that.

    Bye the way, seven, on the QT, about ACLS, PALS CBL - get a CT ASAP

  11. by   canoehead
    I think ACLS would have been a wonderful idea as a student but NALS or PALS are not as essential. I think that as a new grad you would not be taking it to aply it until you've had a year of experience but just knowing what to expect if the worst happens is a boost in confidence, and one less thing to worry about when you are on the floor.