What is BLS?

BLS, or Basic Life Support, refers to the foundational skills and knowledge that healthcare providers use to provide immediate assistance to patients in emergency situations, especially those involving cardiac and respiratory distress.

It serves as the first line of defense in life-threatening scenarios before advanced medical assistance can be administered.

Nurse BLS Certification: Why is it Essential?

For a nurse, being well-acquainted with emergency care can be a game-changer. This is where the nurse BLS certification steps in. It attests that a nurse is adept at performing crucial life-saving procedures.

Think of it as a seal of assurance; when a patient is in distress, a nurse with BLS certification is well-equipped to jump into action.

But it’s not just about the hands-on skills. Nurse BLS certification courses also imbue the practitioner with the ability to recognize emergencies, work effectively in teams, and use defibrillators.

In essence, it’s a comprehensive training regime that equips nurses to act swiftly and effectively during critical situations.

Key Components of BLS

While specific components of a BLS course might vary, most nurse BLS certification courses cover the following elements:

  1. CPR for adults, children, and infants: Learning the right technique to deliver chest compressions and rescue breaths can be the difference between life and death.
  2. Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use: Familiarizing nurses with AEDs, devices that can send an electric shock to the heart to try restoring a normal rhythm.
  3. Relieving choking: Whether it’s a piece of food or a small toy, knowing how to help a choking person is indispensable.

The Importance of Regular Recertification

Healthcare is a rapidly evolving field. Techniques, guidelines, and best practices can change over time. Hence, merely acquiring a nurse BLS certification once isn’t enough. It’s crucial to go for regular recertification to stay updated with the latest methodologies and ensure that one’s skills remain sharp.

Common life-threatening situations that need BLS.

1.Cardiac Arrest

Arguably one of the scariest medical emergencies is when a person’s heart just stops and cuts off the flow of blood to various internal vital organs. 

Every second counts; immediate intervention is necessary. In case a person faces the situation of cardiac arrest, the probability of their survival reduces by approximately ten percent per minute. 

This is where BLS steps in. People who are BLS-trained can begin CPR before advanced medical intervention.

They can administer chest compressions and if necessary, rescue breaths which will help circulate blood and oxygen, possibly buying time for more comprehensive medical care or restart the heart using an AED.

Image alt text: nurse BLS certification. A picture of nurses at work.

Author credit: By Yonat945 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64276238


Choking happens when a foreign body, usually food, lodges in the airway and obstructs free passage of air to the lungs. This is a scary condition, which if not quickly dealt with can cause loss of consciousness and death in less than five minutes. The first step is recognizing the signs of choking. 

In this case, an affected person can hold their throat, manifest discomfort or even fail to speak or breathe. When dealing with responsive adults and a child older than one year, BLS would involve using abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) to remove the object. 

Back slaps and chest thrusts are utilized for infants. Bystanders have to act promptly and decisively in these kinds of cases since it may already be too late when the professional medical comes.


Drowning is one of the greatly overlooked dangers but still a number one cause for unintentional deaths globally. In this case, water moves into the lungs thus denying the blood flow necessary for life support to the body. 

A person has the possibility of being brain damaged or killed within less than five minutes. BLS is a life saver in such circumstances. Firstly, a scene should be secured and an individual removed from the water. 

After landing in the solid ground, ensure that you have an open airway and begin rescue breathing to blow oxygen in the system. If no pulse is identified, full CPR must be started. Early intervention helps the sick person to get the chance for the specialized doctors to arrive in time and give more medical care.

Commonly Asked Questions about Nurse BLS Certification

  1. How often should I renew my nurse BLS certification?

Typically, BLS certification is valid for two years. After this period, recertification is necessary to stay current.

  1. Is online BLS certification credible?

While there are many online BLS courses, it’s essential to choose a recognized program, preferably one that combines online theory with hands-on practical sessions.

  1. Who should go for nurse BLS certification?

While particularly crucial for nurses, BLS training is valuable for all healthcare professionals, including doctors, paramedics, and even laypersons in some cases.

  1. Are there prerequisites for enrolling in a BLS certification course?

Typically, there are no prerequisites. However, a background in healthcare might make it easier to grasp some concepts.

  1. How long does it take to complete a BLS certification course?

On average, BLS courses can be completed in 4-6 hours, though this might vary based on the curriculum and training institution.


In the demanding world of healthcare, being prepared for emergencies is not just an advantage; it’s a necessity. Nurse BLS certification offers healthcare professionals the expertise to handle life-threatening situations, ensuring that they can provide the best care when seconds count.

As nurses stand at the frontline of patient care, equipping them with BLS skills not only empowers them but also elevates the standard of care they can deliver.

So, whether you’re a seasoned nurse or just stepping into the world of healthcare, acquiring and maintaining your BLS certification should be at the top of your to-do list.