Everything Nurses Need to Know About ACLS Certification

Learn how to become ACLS certified in this step-by-step guide. Find out how to register and receive your proof of completion, ACLS course guidelines, plus more.


When working in nursing, you will find that there are certain certifications that you’re required to obtain in addition to your education. For example, all nurses are required to obtain their Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which teaches CPR and other essential life-saving skills. However, there are additional requirements for different types of nurses, and one of them may be your Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification.

  

At eMedCert, we offer a fully-online ACLS certification course. We’re passionate about providing nurses with online certification options which can help to save you time and money while obtaining your credentials. In this blog, we will discuss what exactly ACLS certification is and how you can obtain yours. Also, we’ll talk about the different types of ACLS certifications in order to help you determine which option is best for you.

  

What is ACLS Certification?

  

First, it’s important to understand exactly what ACLS certification means. ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and it’s a certification that is required for certain nurses as well as other medical professionals. In short, an ACLS certification course will teach you how to deal with cardiovascular emergencies. This includes situations such as sudden cardiac death or heart failure.

  

What Skills Does an ACLS Certification Course Teach?

  

ACLS certification courses build upon the skills and knowledge taught in a BLS (Basic Life Support) course. They continue to emphasize the importance of proper CPR procedures such as chest compressions and rescue breaths as well as the use of an AED. However, ACLS courses take your cardiovascular knowledge to the next level by delving into information about pharmacology and more complex topics such as how to recognize the early signs of cardiac emergencies and how to deal with situations such as strokes or acute coronary syndromes.

  

Because the information taught in an ACLS certification course is complex and builds upon previous knowledge, it is not a course that is necessary for the general public. Rather, it’s one that is intended for medical professionals who will use these skills in their daily work.

  

ACLS Certification for Nurses

  

Who Needs ACLS Certification?

  

ACLS certification is required for medical professionals in certain areas and may be recommended for others. Generally speaking, medical professionals who work in emergency situations will be required to obtain their ACLS certification. This includes nurses working in emergency rooms as well as other environments in which cardiovascular emergencies are common.

  

Moreover, even when ACLS certification is not specifically required, having it can make you much more desirable within the workforce. ACLS courses focus on teaching nurses both leadership and collaboration skills, and so regardless of the position you are applying for, having your ACLS certification can make you stand out from the crowd and show your willingness to continue growing within your field.

  

How Do You Become ACLS Certified?

  

There are several options for becoming ACLS certified. First, it’s always possible that your current place of employment offers ACLS certification training, so make sure to check with your employer. However, that is certainly not always the case.

  

One of the ways to obtain your certification is by attending a local in-person class. You can research various hospitals or other health centers in your area which provide ACLS courses in order to find the best deal. Typically, these kinds of courses cost around $200 and take place over the course of several days.

  

Alternatively, many nurses these days are looking to online ACLS courses in order to save themselves both time and money. At eMedCert, our fully-online ACLS course offers extensive training material consisting of more than 80 pages divided into 14 sections. In addition, our materials all adhere to the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, the most recent version available. Our ACLS certification course is available for $169 and can be completed at your own pace and from the comfort of your home. Note that our online course does not offer a hands-on skill assessment. However, many employers do still accept online ACLS certification.

  

When taking your ACLS course, you will be required to review and study materials related to cardiovascular emergencies and then take a final exam. When taking your course online with eMedCert, you can review these materials at your own pace and will complete self-assessments along the way to test your knowledge. Furthermore, we offer unlimited exam retakes, so if you don’t pass your final exam on the first try, you can review the materials again and retake it. Once you complete your exam successfully, you will be instantly provided with a digital copy of your provider card and will receive a hard copy in the mail as well.

  

Take note that regardless of the way in which you obtain your ACLS certification, you will need to renew it every 2 years. eMedCert also offers ACLS recertification courses, so you can always ensure that you’re staying current and have the knowledge necessary to work in an emergency environment.

  

When Should You Complete Your ACLS Certification?

  

First, it’s important to note that ACLS courses build upon BLS certification, which is required for all registered nurses. Basic Life Support teaches essential life-saving skills, and it should be completed prior to or in conjunction with your ACLS certification. BLS certification can also be obtained online, again saving you time and money. At eMedCert, we also offer convenient course bundles so that you can obtain both your BLS and ACLS certifications, as well as your PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certification for one discounted price.

  

In addition, obtaining your ACLS certification is not something you want to put off, as most employers require you to be ACLS certified prior to beginning your job. In some cases, they may offer a grace period of 3-6 months in order to allow you to become certified, but this is not a guarantee. In order to make sure that you are qualified to work as a nurse in an emergency environment, it’s important to take your ACLS course as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out on employment opportunities.

  

Conclusion

  

ACLS certification is an important part of the training required to work in an emergency medical environment. All nurses working in emergency rooms or critical care facilities will be required to have this certification, so it’s important not to delay. eMedCert offers a fully-online ACLS certification course, allowing you the freedom to work at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. In order to receive more information or sign up for your ACLS certification or recertification course today, visit our website or reach out to us at [email protected] or 800.688.6158.