CPR Program – Duration, Cost, Types, Levels and Red Cross CPR Program

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is an emergency measure taken to maintain the blood circulation and breathing in the condition of a cardiac arrest. It is a life-saving technique where experts preserve brain functions until further medical help is provided. CPR program teaches you what actions should be taken in the case of emergencies. American Safety and Health Institute, American Red Cross, and American Heart Association are some of the approved providers of CPR course. After completing the CPR program, a certificate is offered to the aspirant, which needs to be renewed after every 2 years.

Duration, Coursework, and Cost of CPR Program

Factors like the type of CPR class, student-instructor ratio, mode of program, class size, and location plays a crucial role in deciding the length of the program. CPR and AED course completes in 3-6 hours while the duration of CPR HCP course is 6-8 hours.

During the program, students learn different CPR techniques (such as partner rescuer CPR and single rescuer CPR) and perform them on dummies. They are also trained to assess the state (conscious or unconscious) of the victim and apply the apt technique accordingly.

The cost of CPR/AED varies from $45 to $90. You can also avail these courses for as low as $25 by some of the institutes. On the other hand, CPR HCP may cost you from $60 to $120.

Types of CPR Classes

1. Children and Infant CPR

The CPR techniques used for adults can’t be used for babies. The children and infant CPR classes are generally of 9 hours and teach students on how to respond to emergencies involving babies.

2. Adult CPR

Most of the students prefer to go for adult CPR classes. Students taking up this program are taught to do chest pumps, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and basic first aid skills. Many employers are willing to sponsor this program for their employees.

3. Basic Life Support First Aid

This class teaches the general public to assess and respond to common circumstances that might need medical interposition. The students also learn what to do in cases when a patient is injured or sick. Since the duration of this course is short, it can be taught with other CPR courses.

4. EMT or Health Care Provider (HCP) CPR

The CPR classes for health providers, first responders, and EMTs are more in-depth and comprehensive, and are of longer duration. The students are trained by CPR instructor to administer advanced CPR, use AED, resuscitation masks or other medical equipment.

The American Heart Association offers following types of CPR program:

1. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)

This coursework is meant for those professionals who assist or direct in resuscitating the patients in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Team dynamics, cardioversion, defibrillation, airway management, transcutaneous pacing, and rhythm recognition are some of the skills that students learn. It takes approximately 13 hours to complete it.

2. ACLS Experienced Provider Course

The main objective of this course is to improve the outcomes in complex respiratory, metabolic, cardiovascular and other emergencies. The students learn to diagnose and treat postarrest, arrest and prearrest patients through case-based scenarios. This coursework also hones the decision-making and critical thinking skills. This course is designed for those who want to renew their CPR certificate and have already completed the initial phase of the program.

3. Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider

This course is designed for healthcare providers (such as dentists, occupational therapists, pulmonary, and respiratory technologists, paramedics, registered nurses, etc.) since they have to handle the medical emergencies. It completes in 4 hours.

4. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

The students are taught by to identify, avert, and treat cardiorespiratory arrest in babies. The course content includes effective resuscitation team dynamics, defibrillation and synchronized cardioversion, effective respiratory management, etc. The estimated course duration is 14 hours.

Levels of CPR Program

The CPR program is offered at four levels. After completion of each level, a certificate is provided which remains valid for 2 years. After that, it has to be renewed.

1. CPR A

This course provides knowledge about how to perform CPR on adults. Children and infants are not included in it. It also covers AED. In this type of CPR, detailed knowledge of risk factors, sign and symptoms of cardiac attack is provided. The program is generally meant for first aid workers at workplace and it is 4 hours long.

2. CPR B

This level covers AED, children and infants. CPR for adults is not included in it. This program is generally provided to parents, grandparents, babysitters and childcare workers. The aspirants learn to perform CPR on unconscious or conscious child. It gets completed in 5 hours.

3. CPR C

This CPR program is generally provided to police, lifeguards, fire rescuers, workplace first aid team, etc. The knowledge about performing CPR on adults, children, and infant is provided in this level of program, so that one can help people of all age groups. It also involves AED (Automated External Defibrillator). The total length of this course is 5 hours.


It is exclusively for hospital emergency staff. It may include physicians, nurses, firefighters, and other emergency service providers. It includes special program about pulse checks, rescue breathing, bag valve mask resuscitator, special airway opening technique, two-person infant/child/adult CPR, in addition to procedures of CPR C and AED. The duration of the course is 6 hours.

Different Modes of CPR Program

You can get CPR program either online or on-campus, or you can opt for a blended course.

1. Classroom Program

In classroom program, you can clear your doubts or discuss any specific concept with your professor during fixed office hours. This mode of CPR program is useful for those students who require proper learning environment. On-campus programs offer more hands-on and real-world experience in comparison to online courses.

2. Online CPR Program Course

If the students are comfortable with learning at home or the classroom program is not available to them in nearby location, then they can opt for online CPR program. A major drawback of online course is that it does not offer clinical practice. One needs to be very careful while choosing the online program and assure its reputability and accreditation.

3. Blended Course

This type of course is most flexible where some part of the program can be completed at home and the remaining part (generally the practical portion) is completed in classroom. Qualified professionals are provided for both online and classroom sessions.

Red Cross CPR Program

Red Cross CPR program is provided by experts and is affordable. There are more than 550 Red Cross program centers across the United States, from which you can choose the best suitable and nearest center. You can also go for online program sessions that are provided by this organization or else, you can choose simulation learning.

The key features of all the program programs are mentioned below.

1. Classroom Program

The classroom programs give you detailed knowledge about various aspects of nursing. These courses also provide you the opportunities to perform the hands-on program.

2. Simulation Program

Simulation program provides the flexibility of time and schedule. It combines benefits associated with both online and offline courses.

3. Online Courses

The benefits of the online program are that the courses are customizable and can be accessed from your home. You get the flexibility of learning at your own pace and at a desired time.

Red Cross Program Cost and Duration

The Red Cross CPR program cost varies according to the type and mode of course. The program cost for adult CPR/ AED online is $25. The program cost for adult CPR/AED on-line+classroom varies from $70 to $110 and for classroom course is $70.

The duration of the courses varies from 2 to 3 hours.

Red Cross CPR Program Levels

Red Cross provides CPR program at 3 levels:

1. CPR for the Workplace

2. CPR for the Professional Rescuer (CPR Pro)

3. CPR for Schools and the Community

CPR for the Professional Rescuer (CPR Pro) is equivalent to the BLS for the Healthcare Professionals level of the American Heart Association. In-depth and comprehensive program is provided at this level.

CPR for the workplace is designed for lifeguards, industrial and corporate safety officers, and other non-healthcare professionals who must know CPR skills as a part of their job.

CPR for Schools and the Community is meant for adults and teen. Apart from these, Red Cross also offers some specialization courses like CPR for coaches and CPR for pets.

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