Last Updated on February 22, 2024
February isn’t just the month of love — it’s also American Heart Month! And with Cardiovascular Professionals Week taking center stage from February 11-17, 2024, there’s no better time to explore the possibilities that come with being ACLS-certified! Discover what the ACLS certification is, how to get it, and the different jobs in healthcare or nursing roles it can help you excel in.
What is the ACLS Certification?
Imagine being able to handle emergency situations with calm, care, and confidence. That’s the goal of the ACLS certification: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support.
Being ACLS-certified equips healthcare professionals with advanced skills to respond effectively to critical cardiovascular emergencies such as cardiac arrest and stroke. Going beyond basic CPR, the ACLS certification gives you life-saving skills you can use across several specialties and jobs in healthcare, such as:
- Basic life support (CPR and AED) as an individual and team
- Identification and management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
- Airway management
- IV medication administration
How to Become ACLS-certified
The ACLS certification is often required for certain nursing and allied jobs in healthcare, particularly in specialties where emergency situations are expected. Even if the role you’re eyeing doesn’t explicitly require you to be ACLS-certified, earning your certification can help you stand out from the competition and advance your career as a nurse or healthcare professional.
Here’s your roadmap to becoming ACLS-certified:
- Step 1: Get BLS Certified (Optional). While not mandatory, consider earning your Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification as a foundational step.
- Step 2: Choose Your ACLS Certification Course. Enroll in an online or in-person ACLS certification course offered by an accredited institution.
- Step 3: Ace the ACLS Certification Course. Successfully complete the course, including a hands-on evaluation to ensure you have the practical skills down.
- Step 4: Stay Current. Renew your ACLS certification every two years to stay certified and up to date on the latest practices.
Do I Need BLS if I Have ACLS?
The American Heart Association doesn’t technically require you to have a BLS certification. However, you are expected to understand basic life support before taking the course. Consider it a warm-up — many jobs in healthcare requiring ACLS often list BLS as a companion requirement.
ACLS-certified Healthcare Jobs to Explore
Becoming ACLS-certified can open you up to a whole world of new jobs in healthcare. It not only qualifies you for higher-level positions but also positions you as a leader in healthcare and nursing. Most importantly, it instills the confidence needed to identify patients in critical conditions and deliver life-saving care. Here’s a peek into some rewarding nursing, technology, and therapy jobs in healthcare that ACLS-certified professionals can look out for:
ACLS-certified Nursing Jobs in Healthcare (RNs, LPNs/LVNs, CNAs)
Medical/surgical nurses play a crucial role in helping patients recover from surgery, chronic illnesses, or serious injuries. Being ACLS-certified gives you the confidence to respond swiftly to critical situations as you prioritize your patients’ safety during recovery.
Skilled Nursing Facility/Long-Term Care Nursing
As one of the most in-demand jobs in healthcare, LTC nurses provide comprehensive, ongoing care to long-term-care residents, including addressing urgent cardiovascular needs. ACLS certification is vital in this setting, enhancing your capability to precisely navigate emergencies.
Telemetry nurses specialize in monitoring and responding to cardiac rhythms in patients. Since many of your patients face cardiac issues in telemetry, the ACLS certification gives you the expertise needed to interpret and respond to complex emergency situations.
Acute Care/Critical Care/Intensive Care Nursing
Working with critically ill patients? Being ACLS-certified is often a required badge of expertise in these fast-paced environments. As an acute care nurse, it can give you the knowledge and courage to lead code teams and deliver high-quality care during critical situations.
Cardiac Care Nursing
Roles related to cardiac or respiratory health demand advanced certifications and skills. As a cardiac care nurse with ACLS proficiency, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of caring for patients with heart-related conditions.
Emergency Room (ER) Nursing
In the emergency room setting, ACLS-certified nurses are often frontline responders to life-threatening emergencies. The skills you gain with your certification can help you make decisive interventions, collaborate with your team, and ensure timely responses in critical healthcare situations on the job.
Labor & Delivery (L&D) Nursing
As an L&D nurse, you’ll oversee the birthing process to protect the health and safety of both mother and newborn. ACLS certification can be especially valuable in handling any unexpected cardiovascular complications during childbirth.
ACLS-certified Allied Health Jobs in Healthcare
As the first responders in pre-hospital emergencies, EMT-Ps are the lifelines before patients reach medical facilities. Being ACLS-certified grants you the advanced life support skills and decision-making capabilities to significantly improve patient outcomes when the stakes are high.
Cath Laboratory Radiological Technologist
Rad techs specialize in capturing medical images. In the Cath lab, rad techs focus on cardiac imagery to help the healthcare team run heart health tests and procedures. Since you’ll work closely with cardiac patients, ACLS certification is your passport to serve your patients successfully and safely.
Respiratory Therapist and Assistants
Respiratory therapists, therapy assistants, and technicians specialize in managing respiratory distress and caring for patients with breathing disorders. With an ACLS certification, you can be prepared to act quickly in critical respiratory situations.
Find ACLS-Certified Jobs in Healthcare
An ACLS certification enhances your skill set and opens avenues for impactful, rewarding careers in healthcare. Whether you’re a nurse, technologist, or therapist, being ACLS-certified demonstrates your commitment to providing exceptional care in critical situations.
Interested in any of the jobs we explored in the article? Explore local, per diem, or travel healthcare jobs nationwide, or connect with a recruiter today. With 30+ years of experience, we’re here to help you find assignments that fit your unique skills, certifications, and personality. Quick apply below to get started!