The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification course is a fully accredited course especially made for professionals like physicians, nurses, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). After you complete this certification course you will receive a card through the mail that states that you are accredited by the American Heart Association. This will be valid for two years.
How Much Does an ACLS Certification Cost?
The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification can be obtained in two ways, online or in person. The average cost of the majority of the educational classes taken online will be anywhere between $170 and $280 for the full certification course. If you want to take these lessons in a classroom setting or at a local community college, you should expect to spend anywhere between $170 and $420. For the initial course, you will have to pay anywhere between $170 and $350, while the cost of the second part, also known as the skills verification/test, will be anywhere between $90 and $200.
For instance, the American Heart Association offers an online course or a self-learning CD named “Heart Code ACLS Part 1”. If you choose to get the ACLS certification this way, you will have to pay around $130 for the CE/CME credits and another $60 for the second part, which is the hands-on evaluation session.
The Medical College of Wisconsin charges around $190 for an online course.
ACLS certification details
The ACLS certification program has two parts. In the first part, you will have to learn the theory and you can do it in person or online. The second part consists of the hands-on skills assessment session. In order to get the card, you must pass both sessions. It should not take more than two days to complete the course.
You will be expected to understand and recognize the basic pharmacology and cardiac rhythms during the final test. Also, you must understand the sequences of every cardiac emergency.
A card will be sent to your home via mail as long as you meet the minimum qualifications and all the criteria.
What are the additional expenses?
There are some certifications that will not include the hands-on practical component part. Depending on the instructor performing the job, you will have to pay another $60 to $170 to complete the course.
For the extra books, CD, optional training, or skills set, you will need to budget another $30 to $70. There may even be some books required by the course and these will cost anywhere between $40 and $100.
Every two years you will need to renew your card and the costs will be influenced by the course you will want to take. In general, this will be anywhere between $120 and $190.
There are some courses that will deliver your card for an extra fee.
Important things to consider
Health care providers who specialize in emergency services are required to have the ACLS certification. In order to be accepted by a hospital, this certification must be accredited by the American Heart Association.
Always make sure that a class is accredited before signing up. The certification can be deemed worthless without this certification.
You can find many online services that “promise” to help get this certification. Make sure they are AHA-approved if you decide to go this route. You may find yourself falling into a scam without this certification. In general, these schools will have this posted right up front, but do not fall for expressions like “recommended by AHA physicians”.
Take into consideration buying a CD called “Heart Code ACLS Anywhere”. This CD includes two parts of the program and will help the student to better understand the material by taking the self-directed program.
How can I save money?
Always make sure that your course is accredited by the AHA and compare the educational offers of online institutions.
If you also need the Basic Life Support (BLS) certification and the first aid training, take into consideration finding a course that offers all these three certifications at once.
If you are working in a hospital, ask them if they are offering this course. As an employee, you may be able to take this course at a discounted rate or even for free.