Each year my program for new grads got more than 10 times the number of applicants as positions… Hopefully it will soon get better, but until then, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification can help separate you from the competition. Here are three big ways:
1. ACLS CERTIFICATION GIVES YOU AN EDGE IN AN EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE CALIFORNIA JOB MARKET.
Let’s face it, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a massive increase in the number of RNs needed to replace those leaving the workforce, this isn’t what any new grad RN is feeling in California…in fact, quite the opposite. While demand for Registered Nurses is projected to increase by 19%, this hasn’t trickled down to new graduates seeking that all-important first job in an acute care hospital. Many new grad RNs, including my current graduate students, are looking far and wide in California for that elusive new grad program. More often than not, they are leaving the state to get the “magic” year under their belts so they can finally get their Staff Nurse II.
2. WANT AN ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL? YOU NEED TO STAND OUT.
Having continuously run back-to-back Emergency Department new graduate programs for a large urban ED in Oakland,CA for over 10 years, I can say definitively that certain resume traits are a “must have.” While I have always interviewed for personality and team spirit—believing that I can train anyone in the the patho/pharm—, I must admit that resumes lacking in certain benchmarks simply failed to be considered. A new grad wanting to stand out needed to have relevant experience (i.e. ED preceptorship/EMT etc.). They also needed to show a focus in their resume to my specialty (ED), often with what certifications they have completed: TNCC, ENPC, CEN and of course ACLS and PALS. While these aren’t strictly necessary for a new grad, it’s hard to argue that if I’m looking at 500 resumes, those without these traits get lost in the shuffle.
3. REINFORCE CONCEPTS YOU MAY HAVE NOT MASTERED IN NURSING SCHOOL.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support helps new grad RNs distill what is truly critical from what can wait in the first minutes of an arrest. Though I have both a BSN and an MSN in nursing, I cannot remember once learning about code Blue/Pink management in either. There was simply too much else to cover…
When I interview a new grad RN I often focus on the “top 5 lethals” of a given chief complaint. I want to see if a new grad can sense the “urgency” of a situation. I assess their prioritization for the first few minutes of the crisis. ACLS works on these skills and focuses the new grad on systematic algorithms that can be followed even under duress.
Ready to become ACLS certified? Contact us at (510) 452-1100, ext 0 or visit Course Calendar to learn more about our ACLS certification course.