If the only letters that follow your name are “RN,” you could certainly use some more.  RNDeer is about promoting the growth of students and new grads into professional, well-rounded nurses, and a great way to achieve that growth is through the pursuit of specialized nursing certifications.

For Job Seekers

If you’re still a student or a new grad on the hunt, there are a couple nursing-related certifications you may want to consider.  Most of these are focused on nursing actions during a patient emergency, which you are bound to encounter no matter what field of nursing you eventually choose.  Having these certs may also boost your resume, as they show employers that you are dedicated to nursing and actively pursue further education.

These classes include:


Advanced Cardiac Life Support

  • A 2-day class, this course helps healthcare providers improve their abilities to care for victims of cardiac arrest or other cardiac emergencies.  Students learn to recognize and treat the early signs of heart attack and stroke, in addition to recognizing and treating stable and unstable tachycardic and bradycardic heart rhythms.  An online portion reviews the cardiac rhythms you should be familiar with before the class.  You will work as a team with your classmates


Pediatric Advanced Life Support

  • Similar to ACLS, this class focuses on life saving efforts specific to the pediatric population.  Patient scenarios are more related to respiratory emergencies as opposed to cardiac emergencies.  Students must demonstrate one- and two-rescuer CPR/AED for children and infants, as well as the pediatric assessment triangle.


Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, Stabilization

  • For those of you who hope to work with adults or overall healthy kids (any school nurses out there?), PEARS is an excellent course to brush up on your ability to care for a critically ill child you may encounter.  The class provides education on the pediatric assessment, assessment and management of respiratory problems, recognition and management of shock, and the identification and treatment of cardiac arrest in the pediatric population.  While PALS is more in-depth (involving cardiac rhythms and drug dosages), PEARS is a broad course for the overall care of a seriously sick child.

Each of these certifications is offered through the American Heart Association.  You can learn more about them and find a class near you here.

For Job Holders:

If you’ve already landed a job, visit the ANCC’s Certification Center to learn more about certifications in your specialty.

Good luck to all, and here’s to putting PALS on your Christmas list!

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