Nursing Certifications You Should Consider

types-of-nursing-certifications-nihss-acls-palsIf you are planning on working as a nurse traveler, you want to make yourself as marketable as possible. Depending on where you want to travel, assignments can be competitive. Maybe you don’t have the time or desire to go back to school for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but you still want to enhance your skills. There are several certifications you can earn in as little as a weekend, which increase your knowledge and your chances of being offered a great travel assignment. Certification classes are often offered at hospitals, colleges, and private companies.

NIHSS Certification

The NIHSS is the stroke scale developed by the National Institute of Health. The scale is used as an assessment tool for doctors and nurses to identify patients who may be having a stroke. The faster the diagnosis, the quicker lifesaving treatment can be implemented. NIHSS certification teaches healthcare workers, such as nurses, how to administer the stroke test. The certification involves completing a self-paced training program available online and completion of an exam.

Who Should Become Certified?  Nurses who work in critical care transport, the emergency room, ICU, or neuro care unit should consider NIHSS certification.


Advanced cardiac life support is a series of interventions, which may be implemented in cardiac emergencies. ACLS certification involves understanding how to identify and treat certain cardiac emergencies by following specific protocols and algorithms. Certification usually involves completing a two-day class, passing a written exam, and a hands-on skills practical test.

Who Should Become Certified? If you plan on working in the emergency room, intensive care unit or cardiac care unit, you should consider ACLS certification.


Pediatric advanced life support is similar to ACLS, but the care involves children. The causes of life-threatening emergencies are often different in children and adults. Similar to ACLS certification, PALS certification also involves completion of a two-day class and a written and practical exam.

Who Should Become Certified? Nurses who plan to work in the pediatric department should consider becoming certified in PALS. Also, nurses in the emergency room and the pediatric intensive care unit are often required to be PALS certified.


The neonatal resuscitation program focuses on resuscitation skills needed to treat newborn babies. NRP certification covers the initial resuscitation steps, CPR, medication administration, positive pressure ventilation, and advanced airway placement. Initial certification usually involves a full day class and a written exam, as well as participation in a mock resuscitation.

Who Should Become Certified? All nurses who work with newborns should consider NRP certification. For instance, nurses who work in labor and delivery and the neonatal intensive care unit would benefit from NRP certification.

STABLE Certification

STABLE stands for sugar, temperature, airway, blood pressure, lab work and emotional support. All six steps are part of the post-resuscitation care for ill newborns. STABLE certification involves completing a one- day class and exam.

Who Should Become Certified? Nurses who work in labor and delivery, post-partum, and the neonatal intensive care unit should consider becoming STABLE certified.

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