What certifications/certificates should I get?

by Just_Kidney Just_Kidney, ADN, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in Nephrology. Has 7 years experience.

I just passed my NCLEX and I have a new job as an RN in long-term care. My long-term goals are to move from the LTC side of my new facility to the skilled nursing side, and once I feel comfortable with the skills required of me there, hopefully find a new job in telemetry in a hospital. Then eventually I want to work in ICU and become a CCRN. I may be jumping the gun here, but I'd like to start adding to my skills over the next couple of years to make me a good candidate for a tele job when the time comes. I'm going on for my BSN in the fall but I'm wondering what else I can/should do? Obviously a lot of advanced certifications require experience in a particular field which I don't have, but are there any that would be appropriate for me to pursue in the next year or so? ACLS maybe? I know there may be others, but I don't know what they are and would love some advice from some more seasoned nurses (or new grads with a better understanding of this!). And if I'm getting ahead of myself, let me know. I tend to do that sometimes! Thank you!

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU. 6,255 Posts

Congrats on passing NCLEX and on your new job! :)

In my experience, simply gathering "certifications" without any work experience that correlates with regular use of the subject matter of the certification is pretty meaningless. Self-study is always great, but actual certification certainly implies some level of proficiency ... which is NOT gained by reading some material and passing some type of written assessment.

All new grad nurses face tremendous learning, growth and the inevitable "reality shock" in their first year. You will have a lot to keep your mind occupied.

Best of luck to you!

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,069 Posts

ACLS is not going to be of much use if you don't get to use often, I work on an intermediate floor and very few have it. Other than that, most certifications require a minimum of 2 years of practice. See where you end up. Look into geriatric certification (there are NICHE programs) I just got my orthopedic certification after 2 1/2 years on an ortho unit.


148 Posts

NIHSS certification is free online, and relatively easy (takes about an afternoon). I can't say if it'll mean anything, as I'm a new grad myself, but might show some initiative.