Why ACLS certification is Required for Nurses in Critical Care

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support empowers medical professionals with skills to handle high risk medical emergencies. ACLS certification is recommended for nurses who work in emergency rooms (ER's) and ICU's (Intensive Care Units). Nurses employed in critical care departments (especially ICU's) manage high risk medical emergencies and are often required to possess ACLS certification.

Nurses can get credible ACLS certification from a number of nursing schools or high quality online courses. Nurses offering critical care services perform advanced cardiovascular procedures on a regular basis. These procedures include airway management, intubation, stabilizing high or low blood pressure as well as administration of emergency medication.

While nurses are able to perform emergency procedures independently, they often wait for the doctor's instructions first. ACLS courses for nurses do not take them through emergency algorithms as nurses are already familiar with these. ACLS courses for nurses typically take only one day to complete - as opposed to two days for other medical professionals.

ACLS courses for nurses consist of simulated situations involving real life medical emergencies. There is also a lot of emphasis on team-work based management of emergencies. The reason for this is that most hospitals encourage teamwork in critical care. Most ACLS courses for nurses culminate in mega code testing that queries their knowledge and understanding of drug administration.

Besides increased knowledge and training in emergency care, nurses can look forward to several other benefits:

- According to a research by Jackson University, nurses who were ACLS certified earned an annual salary of $3500 more than their non-certified counterparts. Critical care nurses earned an annual salary of $68,000 while nurses working in other areas earned an estimated $64,500 per year.

- When it comes to a bottle neck situation for a promotion or a raise, possessing ACLS certification can certainly add value to your employment profile. It also serves as a useful extra when it comes to applying for nursing positions.