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Proactive student...


I was wondering if it would be an advantage for me to take various certification courses while I am a student? I want to be really proactive about my education, and think it would be a great idea. I have taken BLS for health care providers already, as was thinking about taking ACLS classes. Is that something you would advise?

I was laid off from my job last month, and will remain on unemployment for a few more months. I have a little extra free time, so I thought this might me a good idea. I am also taking a course in Phlebotomy later this year at a local hospital, and hope to gain employment in that field while I am finishing school. I know most new nurses don't have alot of training with needles, so I think that experience would give me a leg up!

Does this sound ok? Or am I completely nuts, and should just wait until I'm hired somewhere?

Thanks for the help.


Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience.

One thing to consider is that most employers will pay for this certification, and they can run around $200 for things like ACLS otherwise. Part of what you would want to think about is whether you will be in a position to witness this knowledge in action (ex- as a tech in the ER or ICU) on a regular basis. Since you won't be able to give the meds used in ACLS until you are licensed, you wouldn't be able to practice this aspect. I took ACLS right after my hire date, and while I had a textbook understanding of the concepts, it wasn't until after I had run several codes and seen the concepts in action that I started to develop a full understanding of what I was to do and to understand the rationale. So unless you will be able to see this new knowledge in action, it is possible that you may forget it without the ability to apply it.

PS- I do think it's great that you are working on this. One thing new RN grads struggle a lot with is time management- handling 6-8 pts when they are used to fewer in school. Being a tech helped me to some extent with this. If you could find a good nurse externship where you are allowed to do everything with supervision except give meds, this would really help. For example, even though you don't have a license to give the meds, you could talk everything through with your preceptor (ex- why you are giving the med, what you will assess for, etc) and help him/her do everything that you can within your scope of practice. This may help you a lot when you are a nurse.

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