Is it too early?

  1. Is it too early for me to get ACLS certified in August? I'm a 3rd semester nursing student and set to graduate this December. I also already have my BLS. So, do you all think I should wait to get ACLS certified? If not, should I also get my PALS even though I dont want to work with kids? Lastly, are there any other certifications that you would recommend for a new grad nurse?
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    About OsceanSN2018, CNA

    Joined: Jun '17; Posts: 216; Likes: 183

    10 Comments

  3. by   JBudd
    Most of the time those courses are paid for by your employer, if they are required for your position. Gets pretty expensive otherwise. ACLS uses a lot of drugs and knowledge of rhythm strips, don't know if you've been taught all that yet. Usually take an a basic EKG interpretation course first.
  4. by   OsceanSN2018
    I thought to take this now since my school was offering it to us for the 3rd week of 4th semester... but it would be more expensive to take it with them then AHA. Also, I live in Chicago and all of the jobs states that BLS and ACLS is required for an ICU position which I am most interested in getting. I just want to be more competitive.
  5. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    I would wait, unless you have a very good understanding of heart rhythms, as you need to know those. Instead of taking ACLS I would buy Dale Dubins EKG book (I forget the exact title) first and read and understand it. As the other poster said employers will pay for ACLS.

    You won't be more competitive if you take ACLS and still have no clue, which not to insult you, will probably be the case since you have no critical care experience. In other words I would wait and focus on learning the basics first.

    Annie
  6. by   AngelKissed857
    I'm guessing you HAVE your BLS, can't imagine a nursing school that doesn't require it be current. I was going to take ACLS between 3rd & 4th semester, and one of my instructors (a COB if ever there was one- knows EVERYTHING!), suggested I take it after graduating and before NCLEX, that it would help with NCLEX. I followed her advice, felt it was right on the money when I had two questions on the NCLEX that I wouldn't have gotten correct without having recently taken ACLS, we sure didn't focus much on rhythm strips in school.

    The other thing is that ACLS isn't cheap, but does look good when job hunting- have to renew every 2 years, and it's not a fun class! So why not stretch that out a bit so you can use those CEUs when you start needing them? Just my thoughts.
  7. by   psu_213
    These hospitals now that, when you apply, you are new grad. They will not expect you to be ACLS certified at the time you apply, and being certified will not give you any advantage. Save you money, make your first job pay for it. For now, focus on school and then the NCLEX. Those are way more important right now than ACLS.
  8. by   caliotter3
    The school where I took my ACLS course had an EKG course that they suggested prior to the ACLS. If that is available, I would suggest taking that course to prepare. Yes, it will add to your initial expense, but you should find it worthwhile.
  9. by   KarenMS
    I think I got a lot more out of the ACLS class after orienting to the ICU. I could picture how things would happen and how I would fit into the team. I think everything would have been more abstract if I took it earlier and wouldn't have stuck.
  10. by   KarenMS
    Plus, not only was it free, I actually got paid to be there so that was a bonus
  11. by   OsceanSN2018
    Quote from KarenMS
    I think I got a lot more out of the ACLS class after orienting to the ICU. I could picture how things would happen and how I would fit into the team. I think everything would have been more abstract if I took it earlier and wouldn't have stuck.

    Im still on the fence about whether I should get it or not. The pros to getting it is that it will benefit me in a competitive market for new grads and helped me with fourth semester.

    The only really cons I see it the $180 cost, but I'm paying for it with a hetfy school refund.
  12. by   Daisy4RN
    Quote from OsceanSN2019
    Im still on the fence about whether I should get it or not. The pros to getting it is that it will benefit me in a competitive market for new grads and helped me with fourth semester.

    The only really cons I see it the $180 cost, but I'm paying for it with a hetfy school refund.
    If you have the money I would definitely go ahead and get it now. It will probably only be a little helpful for boards (but every little bit helps) but will (in my opinion) significantly help with the job hunting. Employers like it when you have everything and are ready to go. You might not understand everything (from ACLS) but you can always refresh later when you are working and it will fall into place then. I also would go ahead and get PALS also because its just easier when you are there and some jobs may require that r/t floating etc, also they need to be renewed so it will continue to be easier to do it all at once (I would also renew CPR at this time too). As some one else stated study EKG strips etc. first, this will also help. Good luck!

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