Online ACLS certification and recertification courses are a fast and easy option – but not all courses are the same. Here are the questions you should ask before signing up online!
As more and more hospitals and institutions are requiring employees to have Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification, the demand for certification and renewal classes have grown immensely. Fortunately, many institutions are now allowing their employees to use an online provider to do this rather than an in-person classroom setting.
Obtaining ACLS renewal online, or initial certification, is much easier than you may think. In almost all cases, going the 100% online route will save time and money – both something we all need more of! Before jumping right in, however, there are some questions you will likely need answers for.
Rather than leaving you to scour the internet for each answer, we have provided you with as much information as you should need to make an informed decision regarding the best ACLS online certification program for your needs.
Here are some questions and answers that are commonly asked about online ACLS certification:
Will I receive an AHA Provider Card?
The short answer is no. The American Heart Association is the only provider of AHA ACLS certification cards and they do not currently endorse nor accredit (approve) any online program in which all aspects of the course are completed online. The AHA requires an in-person skills assessment to consider a course completed to their specifications.
Is a skills assessment required?
As previously discussed, no, a skills assessment is not required for a fully online ACLS course. You will find, however, that many courses will include the course material that would normally be covered in the skills assessment. The difference being – in an online program, the examination of this knowledge will be a cognitive assessment.
What happens if my employer does not accept my card?
Not all websites will offer a 100% money back guarantee if your employer does not accept your provider card, but most will. The best thing to do is ask your employer in advance of signing up for an online ACLS course if they in fact will accept a particular site’s card or not.
Are the courses and exams timed?
Very few online ACLS training courses will come with time restrictions. Most will allow you to work at whatever pace you need. That is one of the biggest draws of certifying or recertifying your credentials online.
What happens if I do not pass the course exam?
In most cases, if you fail your exam, most websites will allow you to retake it. In fact, quite a few will offer you an unlimited amount of times to take the test. You need to carefully check each website’s policy to be sure that there are no fees or waiting periods for exam retakes.
What happens after I pass my test?
The process after passing the exam is fairly simple. The first thing you will want to do is to review your exam results. Once that is done, you will likely want to inquire into CME credits and obtain a printable Provider Card, assuming they are offered.
How long will it take to receive my physical Provider Card?
This varies from website to website, but in general, you can expect your online ACLS Provider Card in about 2-5 business days from the time you request it. In some cases, providers will email you a digital version of your Provider Card that can be immediately downloaded and printed.
How long will my certification be valid?
Your ACLS certification or recertification is valid for 2 years, regardless of where you receive your certification.
Is online acls certification valid?
Validity or acceptance ultimately comes down to whether or not your employer will accept your certification. There are many online ACLS websites out there – but at the end of the day, you should always check with your employer to see if they accept a fully online program.
How long does acls certification last?
Your ACLS card will expire 2 years from the date it was originally issued.
What study material is included with an online course?
The material you get as a part of your online ACLS courses will vary from provider to provider. In general, it will adhere to AHA guidelines and be available in a downloadable PDF format. In some cases, a hard copy will be shipped to you or a provider may have a totally different way to provide materials online such as access to a locked website containing it. You should choose a provider offering the format you feel most comfortable with.
Is your organization accredited? If not, is it still legit?
As stated above, no wholly online ACLS course is accredited by the AHA, however, some may be nationally accredited by other agencies and institutions. Ask if the online ACLS provider has an agreement with the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine or the California Board of Registered Nursing. Even if a program is not accredited, it does not mean it is not legit or that hospitals won’t accept that particular ACLS card. Keep in mind, there are no “aha approved” online ACLS courses. In fact, the American Heart Association does not approve or accredit other providers. In essence, they are their own provider. However, they do have the benefit of publishing the AHA ACLS guidelines – which is the gold-standard for other training centers to base their curriculum on.
Can I receive CME Credit(s) once I complete my course?
This is wholly dependent on the provider. In many cases, you can receive CME credits for passing your ACLS course online, but you will want to be sure that the provider you choose can do so in advance of registering.