Published Mar 17, 2014
I will graduate from nursing school this May and the associated hospital offers EKG, ACLS, and PALS certification at a discount. (about $75-100 less)
Should I pay to have these certifications under my belt and on my resume? Would they help when looking for a RN job as a new grad? Or, should I wait until I land my first job as most places will pay for these certifications?
Also for those who obtained them beforehand, were they helpful?
NICU Guy, BSN, RN
I took ACLS last Thursday over spring break and I graduate in August. Hopefully, I plan on taking PALS this summer (between spring semester and start of summer term) or between graduation and NCLEX.
Will it help you? Maybe
Will it hurt to have it? No
If you have the money and want to put the time into studying, then do it. One of my instructors said that it might help when looking for a job. Anything that you have, that your classmates don't is an advantage, especially if you are looking into ICU or cardiac.
akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P
I've taken those certification courses in the past and I have a couple things to say about them. First, don't take those courses until you've had the material in class that covers the stuff you'll go over in those certification courses. To get the most out of the courses, you'll really want to have that information so you really can understand the concepts presented.
Second, those courses won't hurt and they may even help. If you're willing to spend the money, and it won't hurt you, it might not be a bad thing for you at all. A lot of jobs won't require ACLS or PALS, so you may want to simply focus on doing your best and allow your future employer to cover the expense of those courses. It's up to you, really. In my case, it's not a bad thing for me because I can already make use of that information before I graduate from nursing school because I have another license that allows me to actively use the info.
First, don't take those courses until you've had the material in class that covers the stuff you'll go over in those certification courses. To get the most out of the courses, you'll really want to have that information so you really can understand the concepts presented.
I agree. Don't take them before you have studied EKG and cardiac in class. I have several years as an Advanced EMT (ACLS certified 18 yrs ago) and an EKG tech in a hospital so I knew the ekg rhythms before I opened the study guide.
Thank you all for your responses. I have taken EKG in class so I am familiar with some of the basic concepts.
Nothing will boost your confidence more than leading the mega code scenario in the ACLS class and nailing it. I have a simulation scenario on Friday for my Med/Surg class, which will be over cardiac and hemodynamics. My instructor knows about me getting ACLS over spring break and my background in cardiac. I have a feeling that my "patient" will end up coding no matter how well I do in the scenario. He said the scenarios are designed to challenge the students and some (me) need more than others to challenge them. For some reason some of my classmates don't want to be in the scenario I will be in and a couple really want to be with me . I would love to run a code with my classmates.
I want to work in L&D and I have NRP and a 24 contact hour CEU maternal child didactic course. Hasn't helped me yet!
I agree with the others, make sure you cover the material in class before you take the certification courses. I took ACLS right after I graduated and it actually really helped me on NCLEX ( I had all 265 questions!). When I went on interviews at different facilities they all told me that it was huge that I was ACLS certified so I would say it will help you on your resume (I just accepted my first nursing position yesterday!). I would do it especially if you can get a good price, I only paid $100 for ACLS
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