Forgot to renew my BLS!

  1. So I went to make a photocopy of my BLS card today and did a double take when I noticed that I was due to renew back in April. In the past, the nurse educator of my unit would always let us know when we were due. Last year I started working somewhere new; apparently this nurse educator does not keep on top of our certifications. I'm assuming that I need to take the initial course now, but I was hoping I could still take a renewal course. Does anyone know for sure? Thanks!
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    About pumpkin

    Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 42


  3. by   Double-Helix
    I know that with PALS and ACLS, if your license has expired you need to do the full course, not just the recert. But my experience with BLS is that the recertification is the same as the initial course. This could be because I always took the BLS course offered by my school and that there were both first-timers and repeaters.
  4. by   cosmicmama
    American Heart now offers the class online, you just have to get a skills checkoff done after you finish the online portion. I did it recently, it only took 45 minutes to take the class, and I got a CPR instructor at my hospital to do a quick skills checkoff. Easy as pie, I'll never do a 4 hour class again. :-)
  5. by   klm49
    For the standard AHA BLS class, once your certification has expired you have to retake the complete class. Yes, it seems punitive and some instructors will admit it is punitive and meant to remind people to take the class before expiring, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. You won't be the only one who is retaking the initial class because of an expired card. Check with your hospital before doing the on-line class though. My hospital won't accept on-line BLS. I have to renew my PALS certification this month. The hospital has 1 PALS renewal class per month. The Aug class is Aug 30. The July class was full and I couldn't get in because "your not due yet." If for some reason I can't make it to that class, I'm screwed. Of course, this is the only class the hospital will pay for. Taking it somewhere else earlier in the month is not an option. UGH. I hate putting these things off until the last minute.
  6. by   avionics
    I am an AHA BLS instructor and I most likely would not make you take more than the renewal course. I doubt my TC higher ups would either in their classes. The non-renewal course would simply not offer you anything you would not get in the renewal class at your level. Its not like you haven't had it and as long as you are not an idiot, many instructors will do that.

    The instructors I have been lucky enough to work with believe like me, that the goal is to ensure you know what to do rather than waste your time punitively. If you are training through a large ambulance company with strictly scheduled classes, they may not want to bother checking on the idiot factor and just limit you to the full course, but I suppose that would be the nature of any large, inflexible, company mindset...

    To be honest its not like there is a big difference between the original class and the renewal class anyway, it is the same skillset, just one sets it up a bit more...

    P.S. I know some folks like the online class then the skills test alone, but I would advise you to only do this if you are actually certain of your cpr skills. You would not believe how much of a pain that can be to get someone paying you to monitor a quick skills check and learning they are terrible. Then do you send them home to practice more like you are supposed to? Or do you mess up your schedule and spend hours teaching them how to do it right when they haven't paid for that and it cuts into others' time... Never an easy situation, so some instructors are not happy to do skills tests sometimes. Just understand the situation that puts them in realistically. Skills fade if you don't practice and it is hard to fail someone who needs that cert for their work.
    Last edit by avionics on Aug 7, '11
  7. by   RN58186
    Where I work if you expire you have to take the entire course, no exceptions. Kind of a pain, but it does make one re-certify on time with that hanging over your head if you don't.
  8. by   xtxrn
    I found a private business that does nothing but healthcare BLS and renewals. She schedules people who are there for renewals, and goes through any new info, then tests. It was sort of a happy medium- about 1 1/2 -2 hours....and fairy pleasant. I'm in a "city" of 150,000..... you might try looking up BLS renewal for your area and see what comes up (I actually used the yellow pages- lol)
  9. by   tyvin
    Where I live you don't have to take the whole thing over. Mine expired for a little while (hospitalized for surgery) and all I had to do was a recertification class. I am the exception; right here.
  10. by   madwife2002
    You do have an obligation to inform your direct manager, it is important that you renew stat.
    You are not allowed to work as an RN until you renew or your license could be at risk
  11. by   xtxrn
  12. by   pumpkin
    Thank you all for your replies! I've decided to do the online BLS. There are quite a few training centers offering skills sessions near me. Since I've already expired, I didn't want to have to wait for a course to pop up. I'm going to have put my expiration date in my calendar so this won't happen again!
  13. by   noregrets
    You are a professional, your educator should not have to remind you. In my hospital you are off the schedule if you do not renew your BLS/ACLS on time. You have to retake the entire course if your BLS is expired. I think this is a requirement from the AHA.