Continue the AHA option for Virtual BLS, ACLS & PALS

Continue the AHA option for Virtual BLS, ACLS & PALS

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Randall Godfrey started this petition to American Heart Association Lane Hughes and

As Healthcare Providers (HCP), we are required to maintain certain levels of competency. All HCPs are required to maintain their certification for Basic Life Support (BLS), and a large majority must maintain certification for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). The American Heart Association® (AHA) is the world leader in providing this valuable training.

Since July 2020, A Virtual Option has been authorized by the American Heart Association® and is now being discontinued as of June 1st, 2023. This petition is to request that the AHA continue this Virtual Option so that the HCP will continue to have this valuable training easily available to everyone. This includes the rural & underserved community to help them improve the low survival rates from Stroke & Heart Disease (See American Heart Association® Rural Healthcare Initiatives at the bottom of this petition).

  • Virtual resuscitation training is a reasonable option for certification. Easily deliverable/accessible training equipment and reliable internet service, even in rural areas, make this a successful alternative.
  • This option also reduces the cost due to the removal of the travel & time barriers.

Rural: Low population densities and great distances to the closest education training provider.
Underserved: Any HCP that doesn't have easy access to training, including travel HCPs (Nurses, RRTs, etc.), Non-hospital based physicians, Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners, CRNA, Nurse Midwives, Free standing ERs, Volunteer EMS/Fire, HCPs that don't work in a large facility that provides these certifications... Many more. 

A significant number of  HCPs don't have accessible & reliable access to this valuable training. This is especially prevalent, but not limited to, the rural healthcare community.

  1. Nearly 20% of the nursing workforce practice in rural settings.
  2. One in five of the U.S. population live in rural areas.
  3. Rural hospitals do not have the financial capital to invest heavily into nursing continuing education. As a result, rural nursing staff do not receive the same continuing education opportunities that are available in larger, urban hospitals.
  4. Barriers to continuing education and research for rural nursing staff must be identified (travel distance/remote location), and a system to accommodate the barriers needs to be developed.

University of Texas Arlington Centers for Rural Health and Nursing

Barriers to Access:

  1. "The barriers to access for rural health care include distance to services, shortages of local health care providers, and limited funding. These barriers prevent the expansion of nursing education in many rural communities."

Understanding the Continuing Education Needs of Rural Midwestern Nurses

  1. "Continuing education for these nurses is a great concern for rural hospitals where staffing levels, financial support, and distances from larger health centers may be barriers to the provision of education."

Barriers to Participation in Continuing Education Activities Among Rural and Remote Nurses


  1. "Perceived barriers to participation in continuing education activities include the isolation of rural nurses and time and financial constraints."

Barriers to identifying and obtaining CME: a national survey of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants


  1. "Clinicians report that expense and travel time are the biggest barriers to CME."

Virtual reality and the transformation of medical education
(NIH) National Library of Medicine; The National Center for Biotechnology Information

"For example, VR can be used to train clinicians in complex procedures such as transvenous lead extraction, is effective in cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, can improve communication skills, enhance critical thinking and improve clinical decision making."

Call to Action: Rural Health: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
Circulation: Vol 141, No. 10

"It is also important to increase the number of other health professionals in rural areas, including NPs, PAs, nurses, medical assistants, and many other allied health professionals. Although training for some health occupations can be attained at community colleges, not all rural communities have access to a community college. However, enhanced training and degree opportunities, course availability (including long-distance or virtual courses), and competent faculty are necessary for rural healthcare workforce development."

Healthcare Providers can make a difference in how we access our training

Let's encourage the AHA to meet their stated goal of "bringing equitable care to all" by utilizing the Virtual training method. Let the AHA know that the rural and underserved HCP need this training as much as any other HCP, and a universally accepted healthcare education option is Virtual.

American Heart Association® Rural Healthcare Initiatives:

"Recent healthcare metrics demonstrate a concerning trend:
Rural Americans face higher mortality rates than urban residents. Data indicates that rural residents are at 30% higher risk of stroke, 40% more likely to develop heart disease and live an average of three years fewer than urban counterparts.
The American Heart Association® is committed to bringing equitable care to all. For that reason, we are focused on closing the gap between rural and urban hospital care as a top priority."

Your voice can make the difference in keeping this training accessible for everyone. Sign this petition and let the AHA know we want the Virtual Option continued.

Please sign this petition but you can also ask them to keep the Virtual Option here:


771 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!