CPR for Nurses: Importance of First Aid & CPR Training for Nursing Students

CPR and First aid are essential parts of medical care, whether you work in a nursing home, doctor’s office, hospital, and other clinical setting. Nursing students are exposed to their work environment from the moment they start their medical training. Students already trained in handling different health emergencies are always at an advantage. The first aid course and CPR certification for nurses relate to the duties and roles of nurses.

They are usually the first responders when medical emergencies occur. The nature of the work of nurses makes it necessary for them to be conversant with the essential early medical care skills. So if you are a nursing student or trying to gain acceptance into a nursing program, you need to have your CPR certification.

The first care or assistance given to patients can hasten their recovery. However, in cases where the first aid provided is not from a healthcare professional, patients worsen and take longer times to recover. In other cases, the patient might also die or incur complications due to poor management attracting lawsuits from the family.

When nursing student faces an emergency, they need to think and act fast to save lives. The ability to manage a crisis, like COVID-19, is highly dependent on the level of skills and experience. The CPR and first aid training offer both expertise and hands-on experience to manage different health emergencies. Patients expect immediate assistance from the staff they interact with within hospitals. Moreover, running around to call for help leaving victims in critical conditions paints a bad image on the competence levels of the hospital.

cpr training for nursing students

Importance of CPR Training for Nursing Students

The ability to respond fast and effectively to a cardiac arrest situation relies on nurses being competent, prepared, and updated in the emergency lifesaving procedure of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. CPR/AED training for healthcare professionals ensures that they are skilled and confident in responding in the event of cardiac emergencies.

Here are other reasons why CPR certification is important for nurses:

Understanding of Good Samaritan Laws:

The CPR and first aid classes for nurses offer nursing students an understanding of the Good Samaritan law and how they are legally protected as they provide medical assistance to patients. The law targets protecting rescuers from getting into lawsuits following unintentional injury and death of the victims they assist. This particular information is applicable all through their medical career. Understanding such legal regulations gives nursing students the ability to know how their limitations in helping patients.

CPR gives nursing students confidence to attend to medical emergencies:

CPR and first aid certification courses are critical for any health practitioner, particularly nursing students who are not entirely familiar with the field and the regular medical practices. The course offers skills on the chain of survival in attending to cardiac arrest victims. In case of a disaster, the hospital staff is fully engaged, and the help of nursing students is critically needed. First aid classes for nursing students help them take part in emergency rescue missions and actively saving the lives.

Try the Free CPR for Healthcare Professionals Practice Test.  

Medical practitioners should stay calm and offer guidance in case of emergencies:

CPR and first aid certification provide skills on staying composed and calming down patients and victims as they await specialized treatment. Disasters and health emergencies result in tension in the family and loved ones. Such events can easily disrupt the regular running of a hospital and emergency rescue operations.

Working in teams:

Nursing requires a great deal of teamwork with colleagues, victims, and strangers. Nursing students who take up CPR training learn the importance of well-coordinated teams in saving lives, especially in the face of emergencies. The practice also offers skills on being a resourceful team member in multi-rescuer operations. The roles are also reversible in rescue operations as anyone can take charge.

In most cases, trainee nurses work closely with specialized medical professionals and other healthcare providers in hospitals. Therefore, nurses need to know the value of attentiveness in taking up instructions and following the specified guidelines issued by health specialists on the specific care of their patients.

Also Read- Chest Compression Rate for CPR Adults, Children, and Infants

cpr training for nursing students

Recognizing the Signs of Cardiac Arrest:

Taking up a CPR and first aid course allows recognizing the signs of a victim experiencing cardiac arrest. The course offers knowledge on what cardiac arrest victims undergo and its management in restoring normal breathing and heartbeat. Everyone expects a medical practitioner to take charge, whether in the hospital or out of hospital cardiac emergency. It should not come as a surprise when everyone’s eyes are on you. Cardiac arrest is a critical condition, and every minute that passes unattended lowers the chances of survival.

If you cannot figure out right from the start that it is a cardiac arrest case, you might lose a life. Nursing students and those aspiring to take nursing courses should be certified with CPR and First Aid skills.

Assessing Victims for Signs of Life:

When attending to patients, the nursing student should be able to check out, evaluate the patient, and check on the vitals to ascertain if they are alive or dead. In addition, the training gives the students the ability to study the proper medical history of patients, as they call for specialized attention.

Skills in Performing CPR:

CPR skills are fundamental to any medical practitioner. CPR classes for nurses place nursing students at an advantage as they can recognize emergency cases that need CPR. The course offers an in-depth understanding of the process and the relevance of every step taken in giving CPR. The quality of CPR given to a victim determines their chances of survival.

Also Read- A Study Guide for CPR/AED Class.  

Giving Rescue Breathes:

Rescue breaths apply to cases of a severe asthma attack, carbon monoxide poisoning, drug overdose, near drowning , and choking accidents. CPR class for nurses offers skills and knowledge on how to give rescue breathing to victims effectively. The training will provide skills on when and how to perform rescue breathing alongside CPR to revive victims. The students also learn the different health risks involved in giving mouth to mouth and how to practice self-protection. Skills and knowledge of providing artificial respiration to infants, children, and adults are also part of CPR certification.

Also Read- Important Difference Between Adult and Child CPR.

cpr training for nursing students

The Use of AED:

Using the automated external defibrillator (AED) is a critical skill for a nursing student and any other medical practitioner. AED is used to restore the normal heart rhythms in cardiac arrest victims. Without it, it is strictly impossible to revive the victim. The device is easy to use. However, training is mandatory. Taking up online CPR certification gives nursing students the ability to fully attend to cardiac arrest patients even without qualified medical professionals.

Importance of First Aid Training Course:

Accidents happen all the time, and no one anticipates them. Therefore, getting first aid certified is vital for nursing students. The aim of giving first aid to a victim is to reduce suffering and hasten the recovery process. In the first aid training course, trainees learn the different health emergencies/ accidents and how to manage them. The course covers both minor and major health emergencies. The areas addressed include stings, bites, fractures, bleeding, shock, choking, bandaging, sprains, burns, heat-related illnesses, and removal of foreign bodies.

Also Read- What Topics To Cover in First Aid Training Course?

First aid training offers knowledge on how to act in different types of emergencies. In the case of major accidents and disasters, trainee nurses take part in the rescue process. Other skills are required all at once, and the nurse should think and act in the least time possible. The hands-on experience offered in CPR and first aid training brings in some expertise.

cpr training for nursing students

The nurse is the first person who attends to patients in hospitals. Some patients require critical assistance, such as those in excessive bleeding, to prevent going into shock or death. The specialized treatment might delay, especially in the case of disasters involving multiple victims. In such cases, the victim lives on the medical support offered by nurses. During such occurrences, the skill level of the nurse will determine the chances of survival of the patient.

In first aid training classes, learners attain insight on the health risks they are could fall victim to in the course of duty and how they can protect themselves. Health professionals, especially nurses, are always in direct contact with patients of different illnesses. The training offers information on when and how to use protective gear, gloves, masks, and goggles when attending to various medical emergencies. The removal and disposal of personal protective equipment are also part of the first aid training course.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I renew my healthcare provider CPR card?

To renew your CPR certification, you can either enroll in a blended learning course, which allows you to study online and complete a hands on skills session or find a training center that offers online recertification classes.

Get a copy or replacement CPR, First Aid, BLS, or BBP eCard – Verify and download all your Certifications

How safe is it to attempt CPR without training?

CPR without training may not be as effective as CPR with training. However, if you are untrained, the American Heart Association recommends that you should perform hands only CPR or chest compressions only.

What are some nursing interventions for shortness of breath?

Nursing interventions for shortness of breath include pacing activities, breathing techniques, and the relaxation response.


The information acquired in nurses’ CPR and first aid certification classes is critical. The healthcare industry is very crucial, and nothing is left to chance. Whether skilled or semiskilled, the public has a certain level of expectations from you in the face of emergencies. Therefore, your ability to act and perform first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation professionally in a wide range of emergencies is dependent on your level of knowledge.

CPR and first aid training are critical in the practice of nursing, regardless if it’s online or classroom training. It grows the level of lifesaving skills and abilities of the students to be of help to their loved ones and immediate society. Saving lives also comes with a good feeling. However, it is quite demoralizing for nursing students when they cannot make an effort to save a dying patient. Taking up CPR and first aid certification online program provides the students with a good background for their career by informing them on the basics of primary care. Initial training will provide 2-year certification that requires skill retention through recertification class.

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