Neonatal Nurses NICU Quality Improvement: Embracing EBP Recommendations to Provide Parent Psychosocial Support

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Abstract

Background:

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a stressful environment for infants, their families, and the healthcare team. There is an immediate need for neonatal nurses to embrace and translate the new National Perinatal Association recommendations for psychosocial support of NICU parents into clinical practice to demonstrate best practices for infants, their families, and the whole team.

Purpose:

To summarize the current evidence-based practice recommendations and to provide suggestions for team members to develop strategies to adopt and implement them through quality improvement (QI) projects.

Methods:

Literature reviews were conducted by the original 6 National Perinatal Association workgroup teams and covered all levels of available evidence (eg, qualitative, quantitative, and clinical research, guidelines, and clinical and parental expertise). Evidence was synthesized to formulate this set of recommendations published in December 2015. We describe their applicability to the vital role of neonatal nurses, while elucidating QI projects that track measurements of change to translate these recommendations into practice.

Results:

Neonatal nurses are in an ideal position to transform systems of support for NICU parents through the adoption of these recommendations at the bedside, and further to identify areas for QI to enhance implementation.

Implications for Practice:

Neonatal nurses are integral to problem solving and identifying QI strategies for translating these recommendations into NICU clinical practice to improve parent psychosocial support.

Implications for Research:

This article disseminates evidence and encourages scientific investigation into various methods of supporting emotional health of NICU parents to create better health outcomes.

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