American Heart Association
Click here to return to the AHA Programs Menu.
Already an instructor? Wanting to renew or join our center? Call our office for transfer/renewal forms.
This page is provided to give you a general overview of becoming an American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, or PALS instructor.
Becoming an AHA instructor is, by far, a noteworthy achievement. It demonstrates that you know the content, and you have shown the ability to deliver vital course material to your students. We know, however, that the process of becoming an instructor could be daunting to some, but our team of faculty is well-known for dispelling concerns; in other words, we mentor and support you every step of the way! The support we provide is so that you're able to "find your voice" when teaching a course and watch your students succeed. By far, becoming an instructor is one of the most satisfying aspects of healthcare education, "watching your students 'get it'" and hearing stories of how the people you have taught have contributed significantly to saving a life. We foster an environment that nurtures our students, instructor candidates, and faculty. Also, many become instructors, so they don't forget the material- especially if your exposure to 'codes' is "far and few between," or it has been a while since your last provider course.
The first question to ask is... Do you want to be an ACLS Instructor, a PALS Instructor, or a BLS instructor? (any combination is ok with us, but we do have to ensure that you have the pre-requisites for the instructor course. To enroll in an instructor course (whether ACLS, BLS, or PALS), you will need to ensure you have the following:
- A current unexpired AHA provider card in your chosen discipline (i.e., an ACLS, a BLS, or a PALS provider card).
- A strong command of the course content for the course you wish to teach. (i.e., Knowing the textbook is great for all entry-level instructors)
- A copy of the provider textbook for your chosen discipline (i.e., ACLS Textbook, BLS Textbook, or PALS Textbook)
- A Training Center/Site that is willing to accept and align with you as an instructor (we're currently accepting instructors/instructor candidates, should you not have a Training Center in which to align).
- A positive and friendly attitude, with a willingness to teach.
What's involved in the instructor process?
1. Complete an instructor candidate application
Once you register for your instructor course, we will email you a packet to complete. The Instructor Candidate Application is located in this packet. We encourage you to complete this packet in its entirety and bring it with you to your Instructor Course.
2. Hold a current AHA PROVIDER card in the discipline you wish to teach
This is the card you were issued when you took your ACLS, BLS, or PALS course; upon registering for the course, we will email you a confirmation; please reply to this email with a copy of the front and back of your provider card. Please bring a copy (front & back) of your provider card to your Instructor's Course.
3. Complete the AHA’s Instructor Essentials Course.
This will be provided upon receiving your registration, and how to access it will be emailed to you, either at or before your instructor course (usually at your course along with your instructor manual).
4. Attend an Instructor Course for either ACLS, BLS, or PALS,
See below for the Instructor Course Schedule. Upon arrival at the instructor course, you will be tested on your BLS provider skills (or mega code for ACLS or PALS instructor candidates) and written exam(s). You must pass the test (in your discipline) to continue in the instructor program. It's a good idea to review the provider course and/or maybe take a renewal course before your instructor course.
5. Be successfully monitored, teaching your first course within six months of attending the instructor course.
6. Take the Instructor Course Exam and pass with 84%.
Tip: the content will be found during the Instructor Course, the Online Instructor Essentials Course, and both the Instructor Manual & the Provider Manual. The provider manual is not included in the tuition for this course, as this was issued to you during your provider course (if you took an online program, you might need to access that program to access the provider course content).
How can I teach after I complete the Instructor Process?
- Upon completing the instructor program, completing your monitoring requirement(s), and being recommended for instructor status by our faculty, you will be permitted to teach the programs in the discipline you have completed (ACLS, BLS, or PALS). See below.
- BLS Instructors: you're permitted to teach courses at our location (or yours). As a BLS Instructor, you may maintain your clients and teach your clients; however, we do not permit you to teach clients that belong to our Training Center or who belong to another instructor in our organization.
- Advanced Instructors (ACLS and PALS): you will be invited to teach our programs at our location, as the need arises, or as your schedule. ACLS and PALS instructors are not permitted to teach the ACLS or the PALS program independently. ACLS and PALS instructors must have the Course Director (and/or Training Center Faculty) rank to independently teach one of our programs. As an ACLS or PALS instructor, you may also teach for another US AHA Training Center; provide them with your ACLS/PALS instructor card, and most Training Centers will permit you to teach at their center.
Audience: RNs, APNs, PAs, LPNs, MDs, DOs, EMTs, Paramedics, Techs, and more.
If you have a willingness to teach and a positive attitude, then maybe an instructor program is right for you!
Upon completing this course, you will be issued an American Heart Association (AHA) Instructor Card in the discipline you wish to teach (ACLS Instructor, BLS Instructor, PALS Instructor). These are all outstanding credentials to obtain and also look great on your resume!
How much is the course tuition and what's included:
- The tuition for the ACLS, BLS, and PALS programs vary by location and course. Therefore, please view the course schedule (next page) for the tuition for each respective program.
- Included in the tuition:
- Instructor Course,
- Access to the Online Instructor Essentials Course,
- Monitoring session(s),
- Instructor onboarding packet,
- Instructor Alignment with CardiacEd (our Training Center, if desired),
- Access to our Online Instructor Portal for those teaching BLS courses,
- Supportive Faculty
- Contact Hours (nursing)
To complete this course, you must:
- Register and pay for the course.
- Complete the online ACLS, BLS, or PALS Instructor Essentials Course portion (issued at your instructor course)
- Bring the required items (see below) to the course.
- Successfully demonstrate skills for BLS (and or pass the mega code for ACLS or PALS)
- Pass the written exam for the provider course with 84% or greater
- Complete the monitoring requirements for your course (BLS x 1 monitoring; ACLS or PALS x 2 monitorings)*.
- Complete the Instructor Course Exam with an 84% or greater
- Complete the post-course evaluation.
* Occasionally, some instructor candidates may need more monitoring sessions than the number stated above.
Bring with you to the course:
- Your printed online Instructor Essentials Course completion certificate.
- Photo ID (i.e., driver's license).
- Instructor Packet (completed)
- Copy of your ACLS, BLS, or PALS provider card for the instructor course you are enrolled in.
Contact hours (nursing): The number of contact hours varies per course:
- ACLS Instructor: 15.2
- PALS Instructor: 19.2
- BLS Instructor: 11.9
General Agenda: (sample) order is subject to change.
- Provider Written Exam (i.e., ACLS, BLS, or PALS) (must score 84% or greater). (prepare by reading the provider textbook/online AHA program from your course)*
- BLS Provider Skills (and mega-code for ACLS or PALS) Exam (must pass). (prepare by reading the provider textbook/online AHA program from your course)*
- Instructor Manual Overview
- Instructor Essentials Online Course Access Issued
- Role-Play: Watch while practice - Instructor candidates role-play to teach other instructor candidates in the group, using the video and/or lesson maps as a guide
- Training Center Specifics / Paperwork Verification
- Schedule Monitoring Evaluation (Monitoring/Instructor Course Written Exam)
- Summary & Evaluations
*Please note: The instructor course provides the information on how to instruct an AHA course (whether it be ACLS, BLS, or PALS). The instructor course is NOT a review of the content from the provider course. Therefore, it is HIGHLY recommended that you review, at the very least, your course provider textbook BEFORE attending the Instructor Program. You may feel more comfortable with taking a renewal course close to your instructor course in some cases. Upon arrival at the Instructor Course, you will be tested on your BLS provider skills (and mega-code for ACLS & PALS) and the provider written exam, respectively. You will be expected to demonstrate superior skills and pass the exam (84% or greater) to continue in the course. Please ensure that you are prepared for this mandatory testing session; you can order an updated (2020) provider manual on the following pages.
Faculty: Our faculty members are outstanding! They are non-intimidating, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in helping you succeed in completing this program.
Note: Upon registering, please allow up to 24 business hours to receive a confirmation email; please check your Junk/Spam folder (or email us to resend: support@CardiacEd.com). Your instructor manual would be issued directly to you at the course if you selected pick-up at our office during checkout.