Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


AHA and Cardiology students practice using mannequins in CLIMB classroom

Earn or update your AHA BLS, ACLS or PALS certification

Please Note:

Per AHA guidelines, students must have the appropriate course manual (example: BLS Provider Manual, © 2016) before, during and after the class, as a permanent reference.  If you do not have a paper or e-book, you will not be allowed to stay for the course.

Courses begin promptly at their published start time.  If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will not be allowed to stay for the course.  AHA guidelines state that you must attend and successfully complete the entire course to be awarded a completion card.

Do you need to earn or update your American Heart Association certification for Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, or Pediatric Advanced Life Support?

Enhance your skills in assessing and managing cardiac emergencies.

The Institute for Health Professionals’ AHA classes will:

  • Train you to earn or update your AHA ACLS, BLS or PALS certification
  • Provide professional, instructor-guided training
  • Follow the latest protocols and case scenarios to maximize learning
  • Refresh your skills in managing cardiovascular emergencies

What to Expect

The Institute for Health Professionals offers many enrollment options to meet your needs, including evenings, online course offerings, condensed courses for appropriate candidates, and specialty classes for anesthesiologists, physicians, and professionals in OB.

BLS Training
AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) courses teach healthcare professionals critical skills, such as:
  • Administering high-quality CPR
  • Recognizing several life-threatening emergencies
  • Use of an AED
  • Relieving choking
Available BLS training:
  • BLS (CPR) Providers Initial/Update
  • HeartCode BLS (hybrid course)
ACLS Training

ACLS addresses the knowledge necessary to evaluate and manage an adult victim of a cardiovascular emergency or cardiac arrest. The course reviews and refines patient assessment, airway management, electrical and drug therapy. ECG interpretation skills are required.

After completing your ACLS training, you will be able to:
  • Recognize and initiate management of peri-arrest situations
  • Provide basic life support (BLS) care, including prioritizing CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use
  • Recognize and manage respiratory cardiac arrest, including post-cardiac arrest care
  • Recognize and initiate management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
  • Effectively communicate as a member or leader of a resuscitation team
Available ACLS training:
  • ACLS Instructor Course
  • ACLS Provider or Update with OB emphasis
  • ACLS Provider for Physicians
  • ACLS Prep Course
  • ACLS Provider or Update
  • HeartCode ACLS (hybrid course)
PALS Training

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is a classroom, video-based, Instructor-led course that uses a series of simulated pediatric emergencies to reinforce the important concepts of a systematic approach to pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team dynamics. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes.

The PALS Course is for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children. These include personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care and critical care units such as physicians, nurses, paramedics and others who need a PALS course completion card for job or other requirements.

To successfully complete a PALS course, you must:
  • Be able to identify (on an ECG monitor):
    • Ventricular fibrillation (VF)
    • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)
    • Asystole
    • Bradycardia
    • Tachycardia
    • ST-segment elevation
    • Artifact
  • Demonstrate competency in pediatric airway management
  • Complete the PALS evaluation with a passing score of 84% or better
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a team of healthcare providers and implement PALS algorithms in 2 pediatric scenarios, one cardiac and one respiratory or shock. You will have instruction and practice in mock patient situations prior to testing.
Available PEARS/PALS training:
  • PALS Provider or Update
  • PALS Instructor
  • HeartCode PALS (hybrid course)

Who is the AHA training for?

AHA courses are designed for healthcare providers who direct or participate in the emergent care and/or resuscitation of a patient in-hospital or out-of-hospital.

Having a current AHA certification easily meets the common requirement for employment with a healthcare organization, and the continuing education requirement for licensing boards and agencies.

The Investment

Tuition:  Rates range from $79 to $259, depending on the training. View the AHA course schedules for more specific pricing and hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I receive something acknowledging that I am registered?

PCC does not send notification of registration to continuing education students. However, you can access your account and verify your registration by:

  1. Logging in to MyPCC using your established Username and Password.
  2. Selecting the appropriate term under My Course Schedule.
  3. Under View My, click on Class Schedule to verify course(s) for which you are registered.
I know someone who wants to take your class, can you register them?

No, students wishing to take classes must register themselves, except in the case of contractors.

Contractors can supply a list of employee information, and we can register them as a group. For example:  ACLS-Provider Class on March 15–16 at Seattle Memorial Hospital, for the Rx Residents. The contact person will supply PCC with a complete list of attendees, names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and email addresses, and we will register these individuals before the class takes place.

Class Information
Where and when is the class?

Classes are held at the PCC CLIMB Center for Advancement, located at 1626 SE Water Ave, Portland. Most classes are held at the CLIMB Center, unless it is a special contract located off campus.

Different classes occur at different times. All class times can be found online when you go to sign up for a class, unless it is a specially contracted course which requires you to go to an outside location.

Note:  Courses begin promptly at their published start time.  If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to stay for the course.  AHA guidelines state that you must attend and successfully complete the entire course to be awarded a completion card.

What should I do before attending class?

First, you must be registered for the class, so we know you are coming. Follow the steps at the bottom of this page to register.

Before coming to your first class, you should make sure that you have all textbooks listed in the course description, and completed any requirements, such as taking a pretest or watching several videos.

Will I need a book? Where can I buy books?

Yes, all AHA courses require a AHA provider manual in the appropriate discipline (BLS/ACLS/PALS/PEARS). Information about the required books and other mandatory prerequisites are listed in the individual course descriptions online.

Note:  Per AHA guidelines, if you do not have this book, you will not be allowed to stay for the course.

All books are located at the PCC Sylvania campus or can be purchased from Laerdal, World Point,  Channing Bete or as a eBook from the AHA .

Will my employer pay for me to take the class?

Possibly. PCC has contracts with several employers.  Please check with your employer for contract Information or contact Teresa Parrish.

Can you come to our location to teach the class?

Yes, we can contact with you or your company to teach classes off campus, and we will let you know the price difference. We can even customize your training to specifically meet the needs of your employer.

Which classes require a pre-test, and how do I show that I took it?

The American Heart Association ACLS and PALS classes require a pre-test. Information about the pre-test can be found in the front of the Provider Manual, on page ii. It must be taken online.

Once you have taken the test, print off or take a picture of the result and bring it to your class. Make sure you include your name in the upper right hand corner, along with the score you received.  Course pre-test must be passed with a 70% or better.

How long is the online class?

The classes averages about 4.5–16 hours to complete. Depending on student to instructor ratios, it may take more or less time.  In the cases of the HeartCode courses, the online class times will vary based upon student experience.

How long are the HeartCode practice and skills evaluations?

The skills evaluation for the HeartCode course lasts about 3–5 hours.

What score do I need to pass the exam?

You must get at least a score of 84% on your written exam, and pass your skills evaluation in order to pass the class.

If I fail can I re-test?

Yes, you can re-test on another day, as long as you have completed the pre-test. If no pre-test, no re-test.

I have a ASHI or Red Cross Certification. Can I take your Update Class?

No, you must show a current AHA card in order to take our AHA Renewal Update Class.

Your AHA Card
When does my card expire, and is there a grace period?

Your card will expire 2 years from the date you took your class, on the last day of the month. There is no a grace period. For example, if you took your class on November 2nd 2015, your card would expire on November 30, 2017. If you wait until December 2nd to take your renewal update class,  your card will have expired and you will have to take a 2-day Provider class or a HeartCode course. Contact the AHA TC Coordinator to review your particular situation.

If I am on medical or military leave and my card expires, can I still come to an update class, or do I have to do the 2-day provider or online class?

You can come to a update class with proof that you were on leave.

If my card is expired, can I do the online class?

If your ACLS or PALS card expires, you can take an online class.

Will you accept a photocopy or picture of my card as proof of being current?

Yes, if you no longer have the original card we will accept a picture or copy of the card.

How can I replace a lost card, and how much will this cost?

A replacement BLS card is $10, and a replacement ACLS or PALS card can be made for $15.  To replace a card, go to the AHA and NANP Shopping Cart, select “AHA Cards” and follow the prompts under “Replacement Cards.”

Do you keep copies of our cards, and can you send one to me?

No, PCC does not keep copies of individual cards, though we can verify that you took the class, and when.

My name has changed, can my new card be printed with my new name on it?

Yes. At check in, let us know your name has changed. Bring proof of the name change and photo ID when you come to class and we will start the process to get your name changed in the PCC system. If you have recently gotten divorced, please bring the divorce paperwork with you. Name changes can be done at any campus location.

Other Questions
Where can I park, and do I have to pay?

We have a parking lot in front of our building. If you drive a vehicle, you must pay to park, but bicycles and motorcycles park for free. Cost for parking is $5.00 per day, or $1/hr for a stay shorter than 3 hours. The machines take Visa or Mastercard, and $1 or $5 bills, and cannot make change.

Do you have a room for breastfeeding mothers?

Yes, we have a safe, secure area with sink and electrical outlets where breastfeeding mothers can pump. We will set you up the first time, and you are free to come and go as needed.

If I am injured and I cannot do CPR, will I still get my certification?

No, you must be able to perform CPR for 2 complete minutes using both breaths and compressions.

Have a more specific question or need more information?

Contact Teresa Parrish

Register Now

  1. View the current schedule of classes and write down your CRN.
  2. Visit non-credit registration and create a new account. Returning PCC students can skip this step.
  3. Register for your course online using MyPCC.


Note: Most hospital systems in the metropolitan area have contract arrangements to pay tuition for eligible employees. If you are unsure, please contact your Education Department to determine your eligibility and a contract CRN to use in the above process.


"Today I had the pleasure of taking one of your ACLS classes at PCC. I unfortunately had a non-AHA online class from prior. I was really in a bind. My ACLS was due in the end of the January and I had no other days that would work for me. Without her knowing that PCC went out of its way to accommodate me so I could finish the online course and work with mega codes with the ACLS instructions.." Eddy, 2016 ACLS student


“Wonderful experience. Best in 15 years of being certified.”


“Excellent instructors that created a non-stressful environment for testing. This makes all the difference in the world.”


“Everyone was great about alleviating our fears – great class!”