Definition of an Advanced Nursing Practice Role in the NICU
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We surveyed 655 health professionals affiliated with tertiary level neonatal intensive care units in Canada and the United States to define an expanded role for nurses in neonatology and to determine the educational requirements for the role. The role, comprising advanced clinical practice, educational, research, and administrative responsibilities, is a blend of nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist activities. Based on survey findings, a neonatal stream within the existing Master of Health Sciences program at McMaster University was developed. To date, 15 clinical nurse specialists/neonatal practitioners (CNS/NPs) are employed in five neonatal intensive care units in Ontario and other related institutions. A randomized trial to evaluate these individuals is in progress.
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