S.T.A.B.L.E. Certification: Overview and FAQ | IntelyCare (2024)

S.T.A.B.L.E. Certification: Overview and FAQ | IntelyCare (1)

Do you know what to do if an infant stops breathing? What if their temperature is abnormally low? If you’re a neonatal clinician or are thinking about becoming one, a S.T.A.B.L.E. certification could help you gain confidence and add authority to your resume. But what goes into earning your S.T.A.B.L.E. certificate? Here’s what you need to know.

Among high-income countries, the United States’ infant and maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world. Experts believe this could be due to failures in prenatal care.

You’ve likely heard about measures to mitigate these failures, like the pediatric advanced life support (PALS) or the neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) course, but what happens after babies are resuscitated? Becoming S.T.A.B.L.E. certified can help you care for these patients with more confidence.

What Is S.T.A.B.L.E. Certification?

S.T.A.BL.E. is a medical certification that verifies a clinician’s skills in supporting infants after resuscitation, before they’ve been transported to a higher level of care. The acronym stands for the six care components the program teaches:

  • Sugar: Actions to take when infants can’t take feeding by mouth, monitoring and treating hypoglycemia, and indications for umbilical catheters.
  • Temperature: Understanding infants’ increased risk for hypothermia and heat loss, with strategies for reducing risk and rewarming.
  • Airway: Assessing respiratory distress and respiratory diseases, treating pneumothorax, interpreting blood gasses, and initiating respiratory support.
  • Blood pressure: Understanding and treating hypovolemic, obstructive, cardiogenic, and septic shock in infants.
  • Lab work: Detecting infection, risk factors, assessment signs, lab tests, and antibiotic treatment for infections.
  • Emotional support: Supporting families when their infant is sick.

There is an additional module focused on quality improvement, teamwork, and communication. While this credential especially benefits neonatal nurses, it’s designed to help other members of the health team, including:

  • Emergency department nurses
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
  • Labor and delivery nurses
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
  • Nurse midwives
  • Paramedics
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Physicians
  • Respiratory therapists

Getting Your S.T.A.B.L.E. Nursing Certification: 4 Steps

Step 1: Purchase the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program

To get started, you’ll purchase the online course from Nursegrid or another provider. If you’re looking for an in-person class, you can contact an instructor in your region. Sometimes facilities and units will pay for this training, so it might be free.

Step 2: Complete the Course

Go through the course materials, which include at least five and a half hours of continuing education credits. Remember that while the course teaches a broad range of skills and knowledge, it doesn’t change your scope of practice. It’s your responsibility to know your scope and adhere to it within the subject material.

Step 3: Pass the S.T.A.B.L.E. Post-Test

The online materials include a certification exam, and you’ll need a score of at least 75% to pass. If you have a nursing license, you’ll need to provide your license number for record-keeping.

Step 4: Maintain Your Certification

How long does S.T.A.B.L.E. certification last? To keep this credential active, you’ll need to complete S.T.A.B.L.E. certification renewal every two years. To renew in person, you can either take the course again or take a shortened version of the course. You can also renew remotely by taking the full online program again.

S.T.A.B.L.E. Certification: Cost Considerations

The online S.T.A.B.L.E program cost is $165 and includes a certification exam. If you’d like to refer back to the information while away from the computer, you might also purchase the learner manual for $65. However, you might not need to pay for the course. If you work at a teaching hospital or another larger medical facility, ask your supervisor if a S.T.A.B.L.E. course is being offered soon.


S.T.A.B.L.E. vs. BLS: What’s the difference?

The basic life support (BLS) program is a standard resuscitation training that every clinical team member must go through in order to practice. It covers life-saving basics like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), rescue breaths, and using an automatic external defibrillator (AED). BLS includes protocols for infants, such as choking and infant CPR, but S.T.A.B.L.E. brings a deeper, more advanced understanding of post-resuscitation care.

S.T.A.B.L.E. vs. PALS: What’s the difference?

The pediatric advanced life support (PALS) training is an advanced program for clinicians who work with children and infants who are medically unstable. It covers shock, respiratory and cardiac emergencies, and how to care for patients after they’ve been successfully resuscitated. S.T.A.B.L.E. focuses more deeply on neonatal care after resuscitation and covers a broader range of topics in this area.

S.T.A.B.L.E. vs. NRP: What’s the difference?

The neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) is a set of guidelines for infant resuscitation. It’s specifically for infants, so it’s essential for nurses who work in the NICU and other infant units. If you don’t yet have your NRP certification, it’s recommended that you obtain it before pursuing S.T.A.B.L.E.

How many questions are on the S.T.A.B.L.E. post-test?

The post-test includes eight questions that cover content from each course module, and you can get no more than two questions wrong to pass. If you get three or four questions wrong, your instructor will go over the questions with you, and you can then retest for a passing score. If you get five or more questions wrong, you’ll need to take the course again.

How long does it take to get the S.T.A.B.L.E. certification?

The length of the course depends on where you take it. The online learner course counts for five and a half continuing education hours. However, some in-person courses are nine hours long and offer more credits. If you’re taking the course in a classroom setting, inquire about how long you can expect it to be so you can plan accordingly.

Opportunities for Neonatal Nursing Professionals

If you’re considering getting your S.T.A.B.L.E. certification, you might also be thinking about other ways to advance your career. IntelyCare’s tailored nursing job notifications put you in the know when it comes to open roles in your area.

S.T.A.B.L.E. Certification: Overview and FAQ | IntelyCare (2024)


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