Overview of Online ACLS Certification
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification is a credential that teaches emergency response personnel how to manage situations involving cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies. The license builds off of topics learned in Basic Life Support (BLS) and covers subjects such as pharmacology, proper use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), airway management, and peri-arrest conditions. Training programs are available through online, in-person, and hybrid formats and take around 12 hours to complete.
Some ACLS courses require candidates to hold BLS certification prior to taking the ACLS course, while others do not. However, those without BLS certification should still be proficient in skills taught during the BLS accreditation process. ACLS certification consists of two stages: a training program where students learn essential skills and knowledge, and then a certification exam. The credential is valid for two years and candidates must complete a training program and take a recertification program in order to maintain their standing.
Description of Online ACLS Certification Programs
Students with busy schedules who don't have the time for on-site programs can pursue ACLS training via online programs that allow for greater flexibility and convenience. Training is offered completely online and through blended formats, where students complete didactic lessons online and then attend an on-site skills training session. In-person ACLS training programs can usually be completed in two days, while online programs give students the ability to determine the pace of their education. Some online programs feature innovative instruction methods including dramatizations, simulations, and animations.
Regardless of which format a student chooses, instruction will cover the same topics. ACLS training programs contain a review of BLS skills such as chest compressions, AED usage, and proper use of bag-mask devices. Students will also learn about team dynamics and how to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest and strokes. Upon completion of these training programs, graduates will be ready to sit for the ACLS certification exam. The final exam is available in an online computer-based format and consists of 50 to 75 multiple-choice questions that test candidates' knowledge of each aspect of the course.
Applicants to these programs may not need prior certification, but they will need to have knowledge of essential life-saving techniques. Some courses additionally require prospective students to review the ACLS provider manual and pass a pre-assessment to confirm they possess the required knowledge.
Job Outcomes After ACLS Certification
ACLS certification is useful for healthcare providers in just about every field and the credential can be beneficial for physicians, paramedics, dentists, nurses, and a variety of other careers in this industry. ACLS certification is a common requirement for exercise physiologists; registered nurses sometimes need this certification as well. Candidates should be aware that in order to move into these two professions, they will need to complete a degree program. Exercise physiologists will need a bachelor's degree, while registered nurses typically have an associate's or a bachelor's degree (and some have a nursing diploma, though that is less common). Nurses must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn certification, while professional certifications are optional for exercise physiologists.
The job market for both these professions is strong and should remain so in the future, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Exercise physiologists should experience 10% growth between 2018 and 2028, while employment of registered nurses is expected to rise by 12% during the same time period. The bureau predicts that an aging population and a shift towards preventative care should increase demand for both of these professions. Exercise physiologists made $49,170 in 2019 and registered nurses earned a median salary of $73,300.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support is a valuable credential that teaches healthcare providers how to manage emergency situations involving cardiovascular issues. Training programs can be found in online and hybrid formats and graduates can move on to pursue a number of medical careers.