What Is The ACLS Certification and Why Do I Need It?

What Is The ACLS Certification and Why Do I Need It?

If you are currently in or are in the process of pursuing a career in the health care field, you’ve probably heard the acronym ACLS. Perhaps you’ve wondered what those four letters stand for, whether or not it’s something you will need to be concerned about and if so, why. ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and it is a medical certification that is required for many positions in the medical field, particularly nursing.

Who Uses ACLS?

Medical professionals who work in emergency or critical care units are required to receive ACLS training and obtain official certification. Likewise, nurses who work in facilities in which cardiac-related emergencies are more likely to occur, such as nursing homes, are also typically required to be ACLS certified. Additionally, since RNs and LPNs routinely work with cardiovascular patients, they too must be familiar with ACLS protocol and properly certified.

Why are nurses mentioned more in relation to this particular credential, as opposed to physicians? The reality is, nursing professionals spend far more time with patients than doctors. As such, they are also more likely to act as first responders when a patient experiences some type of medical emergency. Furthermore, nurses who work in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities are more likely to apply their ACLS training on a regular basis, since most cardiac-related emergencies and other life-threatening medical situations are usually sent there first.


ACLS training is designed to bring medical professionals beyond basic life support skills to provide more in-depth and comprehensive knowledge of advanced life support. At the same time, ACLS courses also provide training in basic drug therapy as well as effective team dynamics, something that is especially valuable when working in the field. The purpose of ACLS, like other similar online medical certification courses, is to improve patient outcomes by sustaining life while also working to maintain neurological function during cardiac-related events, such as heart attacks or strokes.

Because advanced life support training is based on the guidelines set by the American Heart Association and updated regularly, applying its protocol enhances resuscitation efforts to effectively save more lives. Health care professionals are dedicated to reducing disability and mortality rates due to stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular diseases. ACLS methods are a product of this ongoing commitment to optimum patient care.

Most employers in the medical arena require ACLS certification as a condition of employment. This ensures that all employees are properly trained and remain abreast of any and all changes, improvements and advances in the care and treatment of cardiac patients. Thankfully, nurses and other health care professionals who are required to obtain this certification can do so on their own time with convenient online options.

In addition to our comprehensive ACLS course, ProMedCert offers a variety of online medical certifications, including BLS, CPR and PALS.