If you are a nurse that is working with adults, then you will need to obtain your Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) license before you begin practicing (or, at most, within 180 days of your new job). An ACLS license proves that you know what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest or various other medical emergencies
ACLS certification is incredibly important and, in many cases, has helped nurses directly save their patients’ lives. If a cardiac arrest does occur, you won’t have time to look up what to do or even find an additional resource—it will be up to you to act quickly and to make the correct medical decisions.
In the digital era, more and more nurses have begun using online platforms in order to obtain their ACLS certification, as well as their ACLS recertification. These programs offer a viable alternative to many of the more costly and time-consuming in-person courses offered by the AHA and other organizations.
If you are considering obtaining your ACLS certification online, then you likely have a lot of questions. In this article, we will answer ten of the most common questions that people have about online ACLS certification and online ACLS recertification. By understanding more about the process and how it works, you’ll be able to decide if the online options make sense for you.
Table of Contents
- How Often Does ACLS Certification Need to be Renewed?
- Do Most Hospitals Accept Online ACLS Certification?
- What Material Do Online ACLS Courses Typically Cover?
- What Score is Needed to Pass an Online ACLS Certification Exam?
- What are the Best Ways to Prepare for the Online ACLS Certification Exam?
- How Much Does It Cost to Obtain ACLS Certification Online?
- How Can I Save on the Cost of Online ACLS Certification?
- Do Online ACLS Courses Offer Any Continuing Education Credits?
- Are There Any “In-Person” Components of an Online ACLS Course?
- What are the Benefits of Obtaining Your ACLS Certification Online?
1. How Often Does ACLS Certification Need to be Renewed?
An ACLS certification, like most other nursing certifications, needs to be renewed every two years. Because BLS and PALS certifications have the exact same timeframe, you may want to consider saving yourself both time and money and bundle multiple courses together.
Related Article: What To Do When Your ACLS Has Expired
2. Do Most Hospitals Accept Online ACLS Certification?
In both the United States and elsewhere around the world, more and more hospitals are accepting ACLS certifications. ACLS renewals are accepted even more often. If your hospital is one of the few that does not currently accept these certificates, the most credible ACLS providers will offer a full refund. If you are unsure whether these certifications will be accepted at your current place of employment, be sure to clarify with your employer in advance.
Related Article: Is An Online ACLS Certification Valid?
3. What Material Do Online ACLS Courses Typically Cover?
ACLS courses will cover a wide range of materials. ACLS will cover most of the material that is included in the basic life support (BLS) course, though these certificates are not interchangeable. ACLS courses will cover how to recognize a respiratory arrest, how to manage a cardiac arrest, how to manage airways, and other topics, as well. Essentially, the course is designed to prepare you to address a wide variety of life-threatening situations. Working and communicating as a team will also be important.
4. What Score is Needed to Pass an Online ACLS Certification Exam?
The exact passing requirements will vary, depending on which online (or in-person) ACLS certification company you choose to work with. However, generally speaking, a passing score will be about 75 or 80 percent. In a 50 question exam, you will likely need to answer 40 questions correctly. Fortunately, if you do fall below this threshold, most online providers will allow you to immediately take the exam again (and however many times are necessary).
5. What are the Best Ways to Prepare for the Online ACLS Certification Exam?
Preparing to pass the ACLS certification will be similar to preparing for many of the exams you took in nursing school. Because a large portion of the exam will focus on ACLS algorithms, using flashcards and other fundamental memorization techniques will be very helpful. Furthermore, working with a friend can help you stay disciplined and increase your likelihood of passing the exam. Taking an ACLS practice exam is another great way to prepare for your ACLS exam.
Related Article: 6 Effective Ways to Prepare for the ACLS Exam
6. How Much Does It Cost to Obtain ACLS Certification Online?
The best online ACLS renewal services will usually charge about $169, which will cover guaranteed certification, corresponding credits, proof of completing the exam, and all of the associated course materials. As you might expect, an ACLS recertification program will usually be more affordable. Typically, these classes cost about $119, but again, the exact figures will vary by provider.
7. How Can I Save on the Cost of Online ACLS Certification?
Fortunately, there are several ways to save on the cost of an ACLS certification. Because many nurses need to complete PALS and BLS training in addition to the ACLS course, the courses can often be bundled together at a reduced rate. Additionally, group certifications can also help you save money.
8. Do Online ACLS Courses Offer Any Continuing Education Credits?
Most nurses are required to obtain a minimum number of continuing education credits each year. An ACLS certification course can provide as many as CME/CE credits, which may be enough to meet your annual requirement. An ACLS recertification course, on the other hand, typically offers about 4 CE credits. Be sure to clarify in advance how many credits each course provides.
9. Are There Any “In-Person” Components of an Online ACLS Course?
Upon learning about online ACLS renewal courses, many people are very surprised to learn that it is possible to obtain full certification without ever needing to take an in-person class. Once you achieve a passing grade, you will immediately receive a digital certificate of completion, along with a physical card within the next few days. However, in order for your online ACLS certification to be accepted by your employer, you may be required to complete some additional components.
10. What are the Benefits of Obtaining Your ACLS Certification Online?
There are seemingly countless benefits to obtaining your ACLS certification online. These courses allow you to work at your own pace, meaning they are not only more compatible with your busy schedule, but you can also focus more on any material that is less familiar to you. Additionally, these courses usually cost less, require less total time, and offer the option to immediately retake the exam if you do not achieve a passing grade. If your hospital is among the majority that considers online ACLS certification to be legitimate, you should probably choose to complete the exam online.
Related Article: Three Advantages of Getting Your ACLS Certification Online
Conclusion - Frequently Asked Questions About Online ACLS Exams
Obtaining and maintaining your ACLS certification will be an important component of becoming a nurse. Online ACLS certifications offer nurses a wide range of benefits and have become increasingly popular over time.