Online ACLS certification?

Nursing Students SRNA


I am in the process of applying to a school right now, and have a question about ACLS certification. I just started in my ICU over the summer, and my nurse educator does not want me to get ACLS until May. She doesn't know that I am planning on going to CRNA school and I don't want to tell her yet. I have been looking for an ACLS course on my own, and I haven't found that many before December 1 (which is application deadline). The only ones I have found are 2 day courses, and I am scheduled to work at least 1 of those 2 days. I have found some online ACLS cert courses, but they are not AHA endorsed. The school website does not specify that it requires AHA endorsed ACLS. Plus, I will have to take ACLS again when my nurse educator wants me to, so I will have an AHA endorsed ACLS before school starts, should I get in (this school doesn't start until fall of next year). Do you think it would be a problem if I take one of these online courses for the time being?

Specializes in critcal care, CRNA.

Do it twice if it is worth it to you. Do you need PALS too? Most schools I looked at required it also. What school are you appyling for? I never dreamed of applying before i hit at least a year in CCU.

i would contact someone in the program admissions office and ask if there is a specific program or format that is accepted.

however, for general information regarding acls programs and formats i copied the information below from a previous post i made regarding acls certification. i updated the links so hopefully they all work.

international liaison committee on resuscitation
(ilcor) was formed in 1992. according to their website they were formed to "...
provide a forum for liaison between principle resuscitation organizations worldwide
." the
american heart association
(aha) is
a member of ilcor
and represents the united states. in 2000, ilcor published the first international resuscitation guidelines. these guidelines were updated in the
2005 international consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc) science with treatment recommendations
and are scheduled to be updated again in 2010. the aha subsequently published the
2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc)
. this is probably why people tend to think that only aha programs are "real" or will be accepted.

the aha neither sanctions nor approves other organizations life support training programs. after publishing the
2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) and emergency cardiovascular care (ecc)
the aha subsequently developed their own life support training programs, of which acls is one.

other agencies were then free to develop their own courses based upon these guidelines, and several have. i am aware of at least three other organizations that have developed acls training programs, the
american safety & health institute
american medical resource institute (amri)
, and
. these courses are offered in a variety of formats: traditional, blended, and online. i have no experience with any of these programs, and provide the following as information only.

[color=#333333]joint commission[color=#333333] standard pc.02.01.11: resuscitation services are available throughout the hospital lists the following as one of the elements of performance: "an evidenced-based training program(s) is used to train staff to recognize the need for and use of resuscitation equipment and techniques." there is no official or preferred bls program to satisfy the joint commission (jc) requirement, nor does jc address format of course delivery

[color=#333333]using this standard, each facility is free to determine which program or programs that they will use to satisfy this requirement. some facilities are specific as to which program they will accept (i.e. only aha) while others will accept any program as long as it is compliant with the 2005 aha guidelines for cpr and ecc.

the aha offers acls in both the traditional and blended format. if you are interested in attending a traditional aha acls course, you can use the
aha ecc course connector
to locate an upcoming course.

information on the aha blended program option is available at the following site:
aha e-learning acls
. if you opt to take the blended course, the cost of the online portion is $105.00. i could not readily locate on the site, but i believe that you have 14 days to complete the entire online portion. after completion of the online portion you can locate an instructor to complete your skills evaluation using the
aha ecc course connector
website. there might be an additional charge for the skills evaluation. i would also suggest contacting an instructor prior to ensure availability of a skills evaluation prior to enrolling in the course.

there are several acls preparatory books available on the market. i don't think that any of these books are necessary as all of the material necessary to pass either course is in the provider manual and will be reviewed during the course. however, i do strongly suggest that you
read and study
the material prior to attending the course. if you are interested in reading more regarding the science and rationale behind what is included in the provider manual, the
2005 american heart association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care
are all available online.

american safety & health institute
ashi acls
. information regarding locating an ashi testing center can be located using the
ashi training center locator

is a collaboration between the american college of emergency physicians (acep) and bartlett jones publishing, and they currently offer the
eacls course
. the
eacls course
can be taken totally online for continuing education credits only, or in a blended format which results in receipt of a course completion card. information regarding locating an eacls testing center can be located using the
eacls education center

american medical resource institute
offers acls in an entirely online version only.

after determining which program that you are going to take, you then need to determine the program format to take. basic life support training is currently offered in three formats: traditional, blended, and online.

using the traditional format, you go to a training center and spend four to eight hours watching videos, doing skills review and evaluation, and complete the written test. at the end of the day you receive a course completion/certification card. this is probably what most people are familiar with.

the blended format is exactly that, it is a combination of both online and classroom training. in a blended program you will complete the cognitive/didactic portion on line, as well as completed the written test on line. upon completion of the test you print out your course completion form to take to an instructor where you then complete the skills review and testing portion. upon completion of the skills review/testing you are issued your course completion/certification card. there is generally no distinction between completion of either a traditional or blended course.

online courses, as the name implies, are offered totally online. these programs consist only of the cognitive/didactic portion, without a skills review/testing. personally, i would not take an online course without skills review/testing.

i hope this information was helpful, and good luck with your future education plans.

I agree with Chare. I had the same issue this summer, and ultimately decided to take the AHA course (PALS) because it is the most common and the one that's generally expected. Others may be acceptable, though, so I would echo Chare and say that you should ask the programs you're applying to.

Thank you all for your replies. Normally, I would never do an entirely online program. But right now I don't seem to have a choice. I come from the ER, but I unfortunately let my ACLS expire. I do not look forward to paying out of pocket for a course that I am going to have to retake in 6 months or so. However, I don't feel that I am lacking in skills - the ICU I'm at is a Level 1 Trauma Center and I have participated in a code almost every week since I've started (and some weeks, more than one code).

Thanks again!

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