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3 Nursing Certifications All Nurses Should Consider

Higher Education Articles June 30, 2013

Nursing is a recession-proof field. Just as teachers will always be needed to prepare children for the future, nurses will always be needed to take care of the elderly and sick. However, just because health care and nursing are a recession-proof career choice does not mean it is easy to find a job in the field. Whether one has a two year associate’s degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a four year university, they still might not have what it takes to land their first nursing job.

Employers are looking for nurses with hands-on experience. They are also looking for candidates who have gone above and beyond passing the NCLEX Examination and who have been proactive in continuing their education and training. In other words, the more nursing certifications that one has on their resume, the better chance they have of finding and securing a nursing job. Here is a closer look at three certifications that no nurse should be without.

IV Certification

An Intravenous Therapy (IV) certificate is a must-have for serious nurses. When one enrolls in this type of program, they will learn everything from IV preparation and vein selection to IV solution concentrations. They will also touch upon topics like Venipuncture techniques and health care regulations and legalities.

Basic Life Support Certification

A BLS Certificate (Basic Life Support) is mandatory for most nursing jobs. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association both offer BLS classes. To earn a BLS certificate, healthcare professionals will learn and practice a set of medical skills that can be used to treat everything from cardiac arrest to choking. CPR is an integral component of BLS, and people enrolled in the class will also learn how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification

Basic Life Support was first introduced in the 1960s. It was followed by Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) in 1975. ALCS is mandatory for nurses working in the recovery room, intensive care, or emergency room. However, this is the type of certification that all hospitals and rehab facilities as well as short and long term care units are looking for on a resume. ACLS is a detailed and more thorough extension of Basic Life Support. Many hospitals will tell you that “BLS is where the process of resuscitation begins, but ALCS is required for successful resuscitation.”

When a healthcare professional looks at something as fundamental as CPR, they will see there have been numerous versions of compressions-to-breathing ratios and adult versus pediatric resuscitation techniques. This is why education, certifications and ongoing training are so important in the nursing field. Information is continually changing.

These are three basic medical certificates that all nurses should have. However, the type of nursing field that one wants to pursue will play a role in determining what the best certificates are. From medical surgical nurses to radiologists, there are different certifications and requirements for every nursing title. It is predicted that the nursing field will grow by twenty-two percent between 2008 and 2018, but if one wants to land a job, they need to make sure their resume stands out with right certifications and trainings.

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  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
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