Though there is still a shortage of nurses out there, students right out of nursing school still may find it difficult to lock down their first nursing jobs. The same catch-22 that plagues the rest of the workforce applies to some extent with nursing too: hospitals want to hire nurses with experience, but how do you get experience if you can’t get hired? Somehow, you’ve got to make the process of getting your first nursing job a whole lot easier by setting yourself apart from the sea of other recent nursing school grads. How do you set yourself apart? Have a better resume and better credentials than the rest of the grads out there in the application pool. One simple way of setting yourself apart is by gaining experience through certification classes. Not only can these certs give valuable experience to new nurses that are trying build their foundation, but they also show potential employers that you are willing to go the extra mile.
Our experts at Surefire CPR, Southern California’s leading name in life-saving certification courses, are here to map out the top new-grad nurse certifications one should have in order to make themselves rise to the top of the already very competitive job market. Aside from giving a brief but detailed description of what each certification is, we will also speak to how each certification benefits certain nursing field specialties. Get the nursing job of your dreams.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
If your primary goal is to work in an ICU or an ED, then an ACLS certification is a must-have.. ACLS training will teach you how to manage codes both as a team member and as a team leader. By learning all aspects of the code, you will be able to provide the most effective lifesaving care. Having a solid understanding of basic arrhythmia is going to be beneficial to you throughout the process of completing your ACLS course. An ACLS certification is especially beneficial for nurses looking to go into telemetry, Med Surg, and Stepdown.
Getting your ACLS Provider Card shows hospital recruiters that you have initiative to get the right certifications for more intensive nursing fields before getting hired on. Yes, if ACLS is required for the job that you are hired for, your employer is required provide the course to you for free, but recruiters generally are looking for nursing candidates that already have their ACLS certification already completed.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS)
Thinking about going into pediatrics, or just looking to make your ED/ICU application as strong as possible? Then you’re going to want to take a Pediatric Advance Life Support Course (PALS). Just like ACLS, PALS is also a course created by the American Heart Association to prepare nurses on the ins-and-outs of resuscitating and stabilizing infants and children. Certification courses like Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization (PEARS) provide an excellent foundation for performing CPR and AED on children and infants, but they are nowhere near in-depth enough for someone who wants to work in pediatrics in the ICU or in the ED. PALS courses focus entirely on resuscitating and stabilizing infants and children who are in cardiopulmonary arrest.
Getting your PALS certificate in advance of getting placed in a pediatric ward (or ICU/ED) shows recruiters that you are willing to take the time and spend the money to ensure you are of the highest value in the hospital. It lets hospital staff know that if a young person goes into cardiopulmonary arrest on your watch, then you are equipped with the tools to handle it quickly and safely.
Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
Trying to work in a NICU or start your career as an L and D nurse? Then completing a Neonatal Resuscitation Program and getting your NRP certification is definitely the way to go. This Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) is based on AHA and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for both emergency cardiovascular care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation of the neonate (newborns). Upon completion of the course, you will be issued a two-year NRP Provider Card. Most NRP courses (like ours here at SureFire CPR) are a blend of in-class time and out of class studying to prepare for a final exam that focuses heavily on simulation via a skills assessment.
Hospital Fire Safety
All nurses should be equipped for emergencies — even when those emergencies strike their own workplaces. Getting your Hospital Fire Safety certification is a great way to show employers that you know what to do in the event of a fire or similar emergency at your place of employment. Hospital Fire Safety certification courses cover essential fire-response duties in a hospital, including how to put out a hospital fire with a fire extinguisher, proper patient rescue protocol, evacuation, pre-fire planning, and more. Having this certification on your resume shows you are ready for your job, and whatever workplaces emergencies it might throw at you. Also, if you’re working at a Los Angeles Hospital, this certificate is required by the LAFD.
Basic Life Support (BLS)
Depending on where you went to nursing school, you very may already have your Basic Life Support certification. BLS is a more advanced version of a CPR training that teaches CPR and proper AED usage. It is considered a baseline requirement for any healthcare professional to have BLS and to always be up to date on his or her certification. The BLS certificate (which is administered through The American Heart Association) lasts for two years before it has to be renewed, so depending on when in nursing school that you got your BLS certification, or how long you’ve been out of school before getting into the job market, you might need to re-up your BLS certification.
Getting recertified as a BLS Provider is generally pretty simple and easy if you’re paying attention in advance of when your certificate expires, so you don’t have to scramble to find a class last minute. But if you do need to scramble, our team here at Surefire CPR has got your back. You can either take an in-person class in one of our many locations around Southern California if you need to brush up on your muscle memory and get a more in-depth refresher, or you can take an online skills checkup. If you’re in the greater Southern California area, you won’t find a more professional practice or painless process than our Online BLS skills check class here at Surefire CPR. Our online classes run from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your skill level. Once you take the class, you can come into one our facilities in Los Angeles, Orange, Laguna Hills, or Corona, to perform a 15-30 minutes skills test to prove that you can do the CPR and AED work necessary for a BLS Provider and get your certification.
Get Certified and Get Ahead With SureFire CPR
Not only do our professionals at Surefire CPR provide simple, expertly-taught, cost-effective options for BLS certification and recertification, we also have initial classes, refresher classes, and online classes with skills checks in both PALS and ACLS at all four of our Southern California locations. Our team also teaches NRP courses, as well as many other certification courses that are beneficial for nurses to have on their resumes. Explore our website to see all the great courses we have offer!
With a certification process as easy and professional as ours here at SureFire CPR, there’s no excuse to not get your certification or recertification. Our classes are taught by professional ER nurses, EMTs, firefighters, paramedics, and lifeguards with decades of teaching experience and real-world expertise under their belts. You’re not going to find a better, more affordable place to get all your nursing certifications, each of which can help you get your first-choice nursing job. You will also get your certification card the same day as your class. Get certified with our team here at SureFire CPR, so you can spend more time helping people and less time trying to tread water in the competitive nursing job market. Contact our team to have your questions answered and enroll with us today!