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How Long Does It Take To Get My ACLS Certification?

Most hospitals and medical clinics require Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support or ACLS certification. Often, it is required by the state as well. ACLS-certified professionals save lives, and having this certification is vital to your success both in your career and in preserving life.

Due to the constantly evolving and changing ACLS certification requirements and guidelines, certification is good for two years. At this point, you need to recertify to learn new and better methods and stay on top of the knowledge, new technology, and updated research.
There are a variety of factors that affect how long ACLS certification will take you, which are discussed more in depth below. If this is your first time taking an ACLS class and certifying, you can do so in 8 hours or less. If you are recertifying, expect to spend even less time.

Factors That Affect ACLS Certification

ACLS classes give you the experience necessary for your job and the credentials to prove you are prepared. For an ACLS class, learners receive eight continuing education units (CEUs) or continuing medical education (CMEs). Each unit indicates one hour of study or completion time, which means you can expect to receive your ACLS certification after completing eight hours or less of work. Succeeding in your in-person or online ACLS class all depends on you and your:

  • ACLS Class Design
  • Experience
  • Time Management


ACLS Class Design

How your ACLS class is set up significantly impacts how quickly you obtain ACLS certification. You will want to find a class that works for you and your schedule. You will want a class that provides all the necessary resources and tools to help you succeed quickly and efficiently. Some classes, like ACLS.com, are designed with learning modalities to help you retain information.


Online ACLS certification courses are designed to help you learn and certify quickly, whether you are a seasoned healthcare professional certifying for the first time, just starting out your career, or advancing your career by adding certifications for job opportunities. No matter where you are in your career, your experience and study habits will help you to succeed. Your ACLS class will provide the tools and resources necessary to make sure you are familiar with standard procedures, such as:

  • Airway management with oropharyngeal airway (OPA)
  • Airway management with nasopharyngeal airway (APC)
  • Clinical situations that call for bag-mask ventilation
  • Correct ECG measurements and interpretations
  • Indications, contraindications, doses, and routes of administration for drugs recommended for refractory VF and/or pulseless VT
  • Correct and timely stroke recognition and stroke care


You may already recognize or know many of these procedures if you are currently employed in the healthcare industry or recently graduated. Your daily, real-life clinical experience makes you better prepared for ACLS certification, and you will move more easily and quickly through the material. If you are nervous about any lack of experience or knowledge, know that online ACLS classes are designed to help you quickly learn and retain this information. In the end, you will have little trouble studying, reviewing the materials, and passing the test.

Time Management

You may be worried about finding enough time to complete your ACLS class, but you need these classes to stay compliant, and they are designed to be manageable and quick. You will quickly complete the course if you dedicate a few hours of proficient, focused study.

What’s Quicker? Online Or In-Person ACLS Classes?

You generally have two options when taking an ACLS class:

  1. You can find an in-person ACLS class
  2. You can take an online ACLS course


Some classes are hybrid and have you do the bulk of instruction online with a minor part designed to be in-person. However, these tend to be longer and more involved than the two traditional options.

The Pros And Cons Of In-Person ACLS Courses

In-person ACLS courses offer a few benefits. Benefits include:

  • Increasing your social network.
  • Taking the course with friends or colleagues.
  • Having an instructor available to answer specific questions or concerns.


They also provide hands-on training opportunities and options for demonstration and practice if the instructor offers them.

However, there are also downsides to in-person classes. Downsides include:

  • It traditionally takes a longer amount of time to complete the course when compared to its online counterpart.
  • There is commute time and cost to travel to and from the class.
  • Class options, times, and days are limited.
  • Quality of instruction is affected by the course facilitator or instructor.
  • There is a set timeline for class instruction and testing with limited to no flexibility for work, illness, or personal emergencies.


The Pros And Cons Of Online ACLS Courses

Online ACLS courses have a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Flexibility to take the course anytime, anywhere
  • More affordable
  • Ability to learn the material and study at your own pace and with your own schedule
  • Fluid study and testing timelines
  • 24/7 access to class materials and unlimited practice tests
  • Quality, up-to-date training, and materials using the latest guidelines and standards
  • Available nationally wherever you have internet access


There are also downsides to online courses. You need reliable internet access to take and complete the class. Continuous access to materials may pressure some to get it done as quickly as possible. Lastly, though many employers accept online accreditation, some may require classes taken on-site at the hospital or facility.

Which ACLS Course Is Right For Me?

You should always check with your employer to find out their specific requirements for ACLS certification and avoid any fees for certifications that may not be accepted. Online courses are the best deal when comparing cost, quality instruction, and convenience.

Are There ACLS Classes Near Me?

With online ACLS courses available, there is always a class near you. Affordable online ACLS courses allow you to access materials and take the class anytime, anywhere you have internet access.

In-person ACLS classes are more costly and time-consuming. They are not as readily available and may not be at a time or location that is convenient for you.

What Can I Do To Expedite An Online ACLS Course?

The sooner you start an online ACLS course, the faster it will go. If you aren’t sure you are ready to take the class, you can always test your knowledge by taking a practice test. Understanding what is covered in the class will also help you know what to expect. Finally, being properly motivated, carving out time to take the class, and dedicating time to study and prepare for the test will all help you get through the course faster and more efficiently.

Can I Take A Practice Test Anytime?

Many people are curious about their proficiency in ACLS training and want a good idea of where they stand. Others like to take one or more practice tests as part of their study routine and preparation. Regardless of where you stand, you can take an ACLS practice test at any time to practice or gauge your proficiency.

The Fast, Convenient Solution For ACLS Certification

Our ACLS online certification course offers the most up-to-date life-saving techniques using a nationally accredited, 100% online, quality class that best prepares you for emergencies on the job. Our ACLS training goes beyond Basic Life Support (BLS) and provides more comprehensive knowledge of advanced life support. ACLS certification is an excellent choice if you are a healthcare professional who has not previously completed an ACLS course or if you want a more in-depth refresher. Sign up for our online ACLS course now!

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