Pediatric Advanced Life Support PALS Certification

The Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification course is designed to educate healthcare providers who respond to emergency situations in infants and children. In general, the course covers skills such as one and two rescuer child CPR and AED use, one and two rescuer infant CPR, cardiac, respiratory, and shock recognition and treatment procedures, management of respiratory emergencies, proper resuscitation team dynamics, rhythm disturbances and electrical therapy, vascular access, and the systematic approach to pediatric assessment.

Who Needs PALS Certification

In general, any medical or nursing staff that hopes or intends to work with children needs to have their PALS certification. This includes pediatric and neonatal nurses, pediatricians and family doctors, EMTs and paramedics, physical therapists, and anyone else who serves in an occupation that provide health care to infants and children.

How to Get Your PALS Certification

Your PALS certification can be obtained in one of two ways. You can take a two day class at any of the American Heart Association training centers located across the United States, or you can find an online course. In general, you can choose between taking the full PALS certification course, the update course, and the update course without optional stations.

In order to pass the class and receive your certification, you will need to complete all learning stations in the course. You will then be required to complete the written exam with a score of at least 84 percent, pass the one and two rescuer child BLS with AED and one and two rescuer infant BLS skills tests. You will also have to pass a minimum of two PALS core case scenarios as a team leader, demonstrating effective team dynamics and providing appropriate medical care.

Once you have completed your PALS certification, your accreditation will be valid for two years. It is important that you continue to update your certification by attending the necessary continuing education courses when necessary. This is necessary because medical equipment and procedures are constantly being updated. By requiring you to re-certify every two years, this ensures that your patients receive the highest quality of care possible.

Online Training versus Classroom Training

Most students prefer the classroom training courses for PALS certification simply because it gives them the opportunity to practice their skills and scenarios in hands-on situations. However, when you live in a rural area, or if you work a very busy schedule, finding the two days necessary to attend a physical classroom training session can be difficult. You may have to take time off work, or drive long distances out of your way; both of these situations can be expensive.

That is where online training can help. An online certification course gives you the opportunity to do your learning in the comfort of your own home, and on your own schedule. This is ideal for busy adults who are already balancing full schedules with work, family life, and personal obligations. If you do choose and online training course, make sure that you choose one that has been approved by the American Heart Association. Many online training scams may say that they are “based on” the AHA material or that they are “endorsed by” the AHA – this is not the same as being a truly AHA approved certification course.

Course content from the AHA’s website

  • 1 and 2 rescuer child focussed CPR and AED
  • 1 and 2 rescuer infant CPR
  • Cardiac, respiratory and shock case simulations and overview
  • Pediatric advanced life support procedure modifications as a result of new knowledge from the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
  • Management of respiratory emergency
  • Resuscitation team concepts
  • Electrical therapy and rhythm disturbance
  • Systematic Approach to Pediatric Assessment
    Vascular access
  • The course is also co-branded in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Time needed to complete the AHA courses

CourseTime Needed
Full course14 hours 10 minutes
Update course8 hours 20 minutes
Update course without optional stations6 hours 20 minutes


Even if you take your training course online, you will be required to demonstrate your hands-on skills in person during your testing. For this reason, if you attend an online course, you may want to schedule a time at your local hospital or training facility to practice the hands-on scenarios before you begin testing.

Get certified or recertified today in 1-2 hours! This is the quickest and easiest way to earn your PALS certification or recertification.

pals certification infant cpr

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