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American Heart Association Training Center

  • The American Heart Association Training Center at UAB

    The American Heart Association Training Center at UAB is a service of the UAB School of Nursing. Our mission is to better the health of Central Alabama through the provision and support of training in Basic Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization, and Heartsaver courses.

  • Meet Our Faculty & Staff

    Penni Watts, PhD, RN, CHSE-A

    AHA Training Center Coordinator

    In her role as the Training Center Coordinator, Dr. Watts coordinates provider and instructor classes for BLS and ACLS certifications. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Simulation & Training at the UAB School of Nursing and has been instrumental in the integration of clinical simulation experiences as well as interprofessional simulation experiences across multiple nursing programs. She has worked with faculty from nursing schools in Zambia, Brazil, and Turkey on integrating clinical simulation in education. Her training in simulation includes the Center for Medical Simulation Comprehensive Instructor Course and the Advanced Instructor Course. She has more than 20 years of experience in critical care nursing.

    Kristen Dykes, MEd

    AHA Center Administrator


    Kristen provides administrative support to instructors and students who wish to obtain and maintain credentials for BCLS, ACLS, PALS, PEARS, and Heartsaver certifications. Additionally, she is responsible for the billing, issuing of ecards, center files and equipment check out.

    Tedra Smith, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-PC, CNE

    AHA Training Center Faculty Member

    Tedra Smith is a Training Center faculty member with certification in BLS, PALS, and PEARS instruction. She teaches graduate students in the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track through the UAB School of Nursing. With more than 17 years of nursing experience, both emergency and primary care, she develops, implements, and debriefs pediatric simulations for undergraduate and graduate students. Tedra holds special training in simulation through The Institute for Medical Simulation.

    Nanci Claus, DNP, CRNP, NP-C

    AHA Training Center Faculty Member

    Dr. Claus holds certifications as an instructor in both ACLS and BCLS. Currently, she teaches in the Undergraduate Pre-licensure Program and the RN Mobility Program in the UAB School of Nursing. She has more than 20 years of experience in critical care nursing, including neuro, trauma and burn specialties. As an educator, she has received special training in simulation. Her interests include interprofessional education, Veterans’ health and resuscitation science.

  • For UABSON students, courses should be scheduled through Touchnet

    For UAB/UABHS employees, courses should be scheduled through HeartCode®.

    For classes offered in the community, find a location nearest you.

  • AHASON Forms

    Equipment Checkout Form

    Complete the fillable checkout form, sign, and submit by email to ahason@uab.edu at least 2 weeks prior to your event. Look for a response from the Training Center within 48 hours to coordinate pick-up and drop-off of the equipment.

    We ask that you return the equipment:
    • In a timely manner so that others may have access to the equipment.
    • Cleaned and in good condition.

    Additional AHASON Forms

    Your partnership is our pleasure!

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