BLS Provider is the version of CPR for healthcare providers. It teaches how to perform CPR on Adult, Child and Infant victims.
American Heart Association BLS classes are meant for anyone with a medical license, or for those required to have it for their job.
If you are not a licensed healthcare professional or are not required to have a BLS certification, please check out our non-healthcare CPR certification classes.
Ready to sign up?
Sign up for Prime's BLS classes by choosing 1 of 4 options below.
Classes are offered locally in 4 convenient locations, but Prime is not limited from traveling extended distances to teach classes.
On this page you’ll learn everything you need to know about what’s covered in the BLS certification, who exactly needs it, what our past students have to say, and answers to all the most frequently asked questions.
9:1 Student:Instructor Ratio
2:1 Student:Manikin Ratio
3-4 Hour Class
Who needs BLS certification?
Professionals with a medical license or students in a medical program are required to have BLS from the AHA. Examples include:
- Physical Therapists
Individuals without a medical license sometimes may also need BLS classes. Workplaces occasionally require non-medical providers, such as administrative staff, to have a BLS AHA certification. As a result, the entire office can work as a team when needed.
Furthermore, non-medical individuals such as Lifeguards, Fire Fighters, and other professional rescuers are required to have a BLS certification. Because these occupations often work closely with medical providers, having the same level of training produces better outcomes during emergencies.
People that do not fall into one of the above categories, typically only need to take a basic CPR/AED class which is still OSHA compliant and meets job regulatory requirements for non-healthcare providers.
Do you need a BLS class?
What is a BLS certification?
BLS stands for Basic Life Support. It’s the healthcare provider level of CPR. BLS for Healthcare Providers requires that students learn the skills of CPR for Adult, Child and Infant. Even if an individual never works with kids, the entire course is required for certification.
BLS for Healthcare Providers covers the following additional topics:
- 1 and 2 rescuer CPR for all ages
- How to use an AED (automated external defibrillator)
- Mouth-to-mouth breathing
- Rescue Breathing
- Use of a pocket mask and bag-valve-mask (BVM
- How to use Naloxone (Narcan) during opioid overdose emergencies
- Performing CPR with an Advanced Airway
- Helping Choking Adults and Infants
- High Performance Team Dynamics
Students must pass the following three tests to receive their certification:
- Adult CPR Skills Test
- Infant CPR Skills Test
- 25-question Written Exam (passing score is 84% or higher)
How to get BLS AHA certification?
#1 Find an Authorized AHA Training Center
Prime Medical Training is an authorized AHA Training Center providing BLS classes. Please be careful when looking online for training because there are many companies who will use deceptive wording and say they 'follow AHA guidelines', but they are not Authorized AHA Training Centers and do not use AHA curriculum. Licensing boards or employers will likely reject certification if it is not from a recognized training provider. Furthermore, even if an employer accepts a non-approved course, the certification may not hold up under legal questioning.
#2 Sign Up For a AHA BLS Class
Signing up for a class should be an easy process and it is! We list all of our upcoming public classes on our website and allow you to register online. When classes reach maximum capacity they are automatically removed from our online calendar, therefore you don't have to check availability. Furthermore, we NEVER cancel classes. Most students need their certification right away and we know you are counting on us, therefore we won't let you down! You can view all our classes and register online.
#3 Successfully Complete the BLS Training
This may sound simple enough, but not all CPR trainers give legitimate classes. We here about these classes all the time. Legitimate AHA BLS for healthcare provider classes are mandated by the AHA to take 3-4 hours to complete (depending on whether you take the initial or renewal CPR class). Classes significantly shorter than this time period are considered by the AHA illegitimate and the BLS certification card is considered invalid as well. You may like the convenience of a shorter class, but this is a huge liability for both the instructor and student and not worth the risk.
Furthermore, according to OSHA and the AHA, CPR classes are required to include hands-on skills practice during training. Your instructor must provide equipment for you to practice on and be tested in your skills. Because of this requirement, there are no legitimate online only CPR classes. The AHA's online BLS class still requires a hands on portion after completion of the online course and is an approved course. If you took a course and never touched a manikin your certification is invalid and not recognized.
#4 Get Your BLS Certification Card
A BLS Instructor is required to submit rosters to their training center within 10 days. The training center is then required to issue cards 10 days from receiving the roster. If a student does not receive their card within a total of 20 days, they can contact the instructor’s training center or the AHA directly. At Prime Medical Training, we issue all cards via email with 24 hours of course completion. We know you need your card quickly and we make sure that happens.
Ready to get certified?
What to expect in BLS classes?
#1 The Proper Student to Instructor Ratio
The AHA requires a ratio of 1 instructor for every 6 students. However, experienced AHA BLS instructors are allowed to teach up to 9 students. In order to receive the best experience, you should have the proper ratio in your classes. We keep our public enrollment classes at 6 students or less because we found our students like the more personal experience of a smaller group.
#2 Every Student Should Have a Book
Furthermore, the AHA requires every student have a book available before, during, and after the BLS class. If you do not have one, you can purchase a book during your class registration.
#3 A Friendly and Experienced Instructor
At Prime Medical Training, we vet our instructors pretty hard. We make sure they meet three main criteria.
- They have a medical background and extensive real-world experience practicing the topics that they teach.
- Instructors must conduct themselves professionally both in their appearance and character.
- Our instructors are evaluated on their personability, their ability to be dynamic while teaching, and be skilled in teaching what they know.
Prime Instructors take the BLS classes very seriously, but at the same time they make it very simple and non-intimidating. These may be considered basic skills but it's vital that students can perform them proficiently.
#4 Top Notch Experience
Prime Medical Training offer outstanding BLS classes that defy the stereotypical, boring CPR class. A BLS certification is not something that should be taken lightly. Students should not just be checking the box. Prime’s goal is to challenge our students and have them walk away feeling like they earned their BLS for Healthcare Providers card.
Students are not always excited to recertify their BLS certification for the 100th time, but our goal is to do everything we can to make it as painless as possible. If you have to be here, our philosophy is to make the best of it, have a few laughs and maybe teach you something new (things are always changing).
96% of students say this is the best class they have ever taken anywhere. Listen, don't take our word for it. Check out what a few of our raving fans have to say about our BLS classes.
Want to experience the Prime difference?
Testimonials for BLS Classes
“This was the best AHA BSL course I have taken. It was highly informative, Andrew was very engaging with the students leading to a solid understanding of the material, yet we were not there for hours on end. If you have other responsibilities that limit your time you will especially appreciate their ability to keep things moving along. Andrew is obviously very dedicated to sending his students out prepared to competently handle emergency situations. Will be going back.” – Margaux Cowan-Banker
"I have taken BLS and ACLS classes for the past 15 years, and this is by far the most efficient, salient class I have taken. Highly recommend." - Jenny Smith
"Andrew did an awesome job teaching class! Would highly recommend Prime Medical Training to anyone needing BLS training!" - Brittany Blurton
"I would recommend this venue for anyone who needs a special certification or training that Prime offers. They use nurses and EMTs to teach their courses and their instructors are very knowledgeable, plus the courses are in depth but not terribly monotonous." - Andrew Gavin
"This was a great, efficient class. By far the best BLS or CPR training experience I've had." - J. Smallen
Frequently Asked Questions About BLS for Healthcare Providers
What is BLS?
BLS stands for Basic Life Support. It is the CPR class required for healthcare providers.
What is the difference between BLS vs CPR?
BLS is what they call the level of CPR for healthcare providers. It is the highest level of CPR that you can get. Classes referred to as simply “CPR” are generally for non-healthcare professionals who still require a CPR certification.
Do you offer free BLS certification?
No. We do offer basic free CPR training at events and workshops throughout the year, but these are geared more for community awareness.
Where can I find more about the American Heart Association CPR guidelines?
The best resource is directly on the AHA’s website. They use to update guidelines every five years, but in 2017 they began moving to a continuous evidence evaluation process to make updates as close to real-time as possible. There is also have a hard copy book available for purchase.
Do you offer online BLS certification?
If you’re looking to do your BLS renewal online, the official course title is called “HeartCode BLS”. Individuals can purchase the online course from Prime Medical Training or from one of AHA’s distributors. Afterwards, must complete the skills portion at a local authorized AHA training center to receive a certification.
Is there an American Heart Association BLS practice test?
No, the AHA does not provide an official BLS practice test. There are resources on the internet from third party providers that offer practice test questions. The official BLS written exam that you will take is 25 questions, you must make an 84% or higher to pass.
What is the cost of BLS certification?
Every AHA training center and individual instructor sets their own price for BLS classes. The AHA says “Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course materials, do not represent income to the AHA.” You can view Prime Medical Training’s current BLS certification cost on our class registration page.
Where can I get a Basic Life Support study guide?
There are several study guides available online. A simple Google search for "AHA BLS study guide" gives several resources. However, most students find it unnecessary to study beforehand.
Where can I buy an AHA BLS for Healthcare Providers student manual?
When you sign up for our AHA BLS class, you will be given the option to purchase the BLS for Healthcare Providers book. You can pick the book up early or wait to get it when you come to class. We ship books by request only.
Is BLS for Healthcare Providers the same as BLS Provider?
Yes. The AHA revised the name when they released the 2015 guidelines. “BLS Provider” is more inclusive all types of individuals who may need a BLS certification.
Does BLS include First Aid?
No. Individuals taking a BLS class typically already have a medical background that includes First Aid knowledge. If you need a First Aid certification, you will need to take that class separately by signing up on our class registration page.
Should I take BLS or CPR?
That depends on what you do and what your job requires. If you have any kind of state medical license, you will need BLS regardless of whether or not your job requires a BLS certification. Those who do not have a medical license but their organization or work requires a CPR certification would want to take the basic CPR class.
Is the online BLS certification AHA approved?
Yes. The BLS certification offered by Prime Medical Training is an AHA approved course. Prime has been designated as an authorized AHA training center.
How do I get an American Heart Association CPR card replacement?
This article explains what to do if you lost your CPR card. Essentially, those who initially received an eCard via email can login to the AHA and retrieve it. If you initially received a traditional paper card, you will either need to contact the instructor who taught your class or the training center the instructor was aligned with at the time they taught your class. You may be charged a fee for replacement paper cards.
Is a BCLS certification class the same as BLS for Healthcare Providers?
Yes. BCLS stands for Basic Cardiac Life Support. That is an old title which was replaced by BLS for Healthcare Providers. When the AHA released the 2015 guidelines, they revised the name again to BLS Provider.
Do I need to take BLS if I already have ACLS?
Yes. These are two separate classes. Sometimes the courses may be offered back to back but they are still individual courses that each require physical and written testing. Taking an ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) class does not automatically give you BLS certification.
How long is a BLS certification good for?
It is recommended that a BLS certification be renewed every 2 years. Some employers require refresher training, though, as often as every 3 months.