Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Board policy requires that house staff have resuscitation training by the standards of the American Heart Association. House staff are required to have training as shown below. Additional training may be required by program or division.

  BLS for Health Care PALS ACLS
Adult2 - PGY 1-3 X   X1
Peds2 - PGY 1-3 X X1  
Med/Peds - PGY 1-3 X X X
Emergency Medicine – PGY 1-3 X X X
Peds Emergency Medicine – Fellows X X X
PGY 4 and up X    

1The office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) maintains a list of residency programs that do NOT require ACLS and/or PALS training as approved by the Vanderbilt Health System Chief of Staff or designee.

2Child Neurology PGY 1-2 follows "Peds" requirements above; Child Neurology PGY 3 follows "Adult" requirements above.

Programs that do NOT require ACLS or PALS certifications for PGY 1-3 are: Pathology, Orthodontics, Infectious Disease, Therapeutic Radiological Medical Physics, Clinical Microbiology, and ABMGG – LGG Certification in Laboratory Genetics & Genomics. Psychiatry requires ACLS certification for PGY 1 only.   BLS training IS required for house staff in these programs.

Approved Agencies for Resuscitation Training – Only training from the following nationally recognized agencies is accepted at Vanderbilt:

  • American Heart Association – Preferred for all basic and advanced life support training.
  • American Red Cross – Accepted BLS/CPR FOR HEALTHCARE only. (ACLS and PALS not accepted from American Red Cross)
  • Military Training Network – Accepted for basic and advanced life support training.

Incoming house staff (those who have not started) should follow the instructions in their task list to sign up.

Current house staff can sign up for resuscitation classes in the Learning Exchange through the Resuscitation Program website: (not for incoming house staff).

The accountability for keeping your BLS/ACLS/PALS training current rests with the resident. It must be renewed every two years for the first three clinical years of residency at Vanderbilt in order for you to remain in your residency program. Please note that the BLS and ACLS/PALS are separate courses. Having a current ACLS or PALS card DOES NOT exempt from the BLS requirement. It is strongly recommended that you register for resuscitation classes at least three months in advance of your recommended renewal month.

All house staff new to Vanderbilt must provide proof of current training in BLS and other resuscitation training as required by hospital policy to the office of Graduate Medical Education. Failure to provide proof of training may delay employment and your start date. New house staff are required to be trained in the necessary resuscitation methods before their start date. If you are unable to obtain the required training prior to arriving at Vanderbilt, ACLS, PALS and BLS courses are offered for incoming house staff prior to House Staff Orientation. You may sign up for classes by referring the the pre-employment tasklist on GME Onboarding Central. For more information, call the Vanderbilt Resuscitation Program at 615-322-0285.