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Introduction

Many families feel overwhelmed by the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experience. Although they long for the day when they can take their baby home, they may feel apprehensive and unprepared when that day finally arrives. Baby Steps to Home was created to standardize the discharge pathway and parent teaching that happens during the baby’s stay in the NICU. It is designed to provide parents with information appropriate for their baby’s condition and progress toward discharge.

Each topic is presented in two parts. The first section is written specifically for nurses but can be used by anyone on the NICU team. Current, evidence-based content is provided, along with references to consult for more information. The second section, written for parents, presents the content in easy-to-understand language that promotes consistent messaging between the parent and nurse sections. The parent-focused content discusses common issues and diagnoses parents may encounter while their baby is in the NICU, suggests questions to ask their baby’s provider, and provides practical information and tips parents will need now and after discharge.

The parent-focused sections of Baby Steps to Home can be modified and printed so each unit can add their hospital’s logo and other specific directions or information before handing the information to a parent.

Parents are essential to maximizing the long-term outcomes of NICU patients. This guide will be a useful tool in the education and preparation of parents for discharge, so that all parents of NICU babies feel prepared and ready to care for their babies at home.

Contact Us

If you would like to submit comments or feedback about the site, please e-mail info@nann.org.

Acknowledgments

Baby Steps to Home was developed by NANN after need for its content emerged from discussions of the Preemie Health Coalition in 2007-2009, led by the American Academy of Pediatrics, March of Dimes, and NANN.

Special Thanks

Special thanks are extended to the following individuals, whose leadership and foresight made this project possible:

  • Scott Berns, MD MPH FAAP
    March of Dimes
  • Robin Bissinger, PhD APRN NNP-BC FAAN
    National Association of Neonatal Nurses
  • Jim Couto, MA
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Judith S. Gooding
    March of Dimes
  • Sonia O. Imaizaumi, MD FAAP
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Rebecca South, BSN RNC-NIC
    National Association of Neonatal Nurses
  • Suzanne Staebler, DNP APRN NNP-BC
    National Association of Neonatal Nurses
  • Dionne Wilson, CAE
    National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Leaders

  • Suzanne Staebler, DNP APRN NNP-BC, Project Director
    Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University
    Atlanta, GA
  • Rebecca South, BSN RNC-NIC, Project Leader
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Donna Ryan, DNP RN, Parent Review Coordinator
    Duke University School of Nursing
    Durham, NC
  • Robin Bissinger, PhD APRN NNP-BC, Consultant
    Medical University of South Carolina
    Charleston, SC
  • Susan E. Reinarz, DNP RN NNP-BC, NANN Board Liaison
    Pediatrix Medical Group
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Cheryl Ann Carlson, PhD APRN NNP-BC, NANN President
    Medical University of South Carolina
    Charleston, SC

Content Developers

  • Lynn Antonawich, MS RN
    Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital
    Stony Brook, NY
  • Lindsey Canon, MSN RNC-NIC
    Texas Health Harris Methodist Forth Worth
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Allison Cate, MSN APN NNP-BC
    Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
    Nashville, TN
  • Margaret Conway-Orgel, MSN RNC NNP-BC
    Medical University of South Carolina
    Charleston, SC
  • Piper Davis, BSN RNC-NIC
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Taryn Edwards, MSN CRNP NNP-BC
    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Lucia Giannattasio Hill, RN
    Kaiser Foundation Hospital
    Oakland, CA
  • Susan Goddard, MBA BSN RN
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Heather Goodall, MSN RNC-NIC IBCLC
    Miller Children’s Hospital
    Long Beach, CA
  • Faye Hunte, MSN RNC-NIC
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Urmeka Jefferson, PhD RNC-LRN
    University of Missouri
    Columbia, MO
  • Michelle Kelly, RN
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Nancy Kraft, MSN APRN-BC NNP
    Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
    Nashville, TN
  • Katherine Lucas, DNP APRN NNP-BC
    Hope Mills, NC
  • Georgeanne Raines, MSN RN PNP-BC
    Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
    Nashville, TN
  • Veronica Schaedler, RN IBCLC LCCE
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Ruth Snyder, MSN APNC NNP-BC
    MidAtlantic Neonatalogy Associates
    Morristown, NJ
  • Pamela S. Spivey, MSN RN CCNS
    Texas Children’s Hospital
    Houston, TX
  • Tammy Wallace, DNP RN NNP-BC
    Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
    Nashville, TN
  • Jennifer Weber, MSN RNC-NIC
    Texas Health Resource Plano
    Plano, TX
  • Valerie Willis, MSN RN PNP-BC CNS-BC
    Huntington Memorial Hospital
    Pasadena, CA

Expert Reviewers

  • Nancy Burke, MSN ARNP RNC-NIC
    South Miami Hospital
    Miami, FL
  • Deborah Campbell, MD FAAP
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Bronx, NY
  • Karen Kopischke, MS APRN NNP-BC
    Overland Park Regional Medical Center
    Overland Park, KS
  • Linda Merritt, MSN RNC
    Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital of Allen
    Allen, TX
  • Tracy Stoffle, MS RN
    St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital
    Tampa, FL

Parent Reviewers

  • Deb Discenza
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    PreemieWorld, LLC
    Springfield, VA
  • Erika Goyer
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    Hand to Hold
    Austin, TX
  • Jessica Guthrie
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    Eli’s Hope
    Chicago, IL
  • Kelli Kelley
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    Hand to Hold
    Austin, TX
  • Laura B. Martin
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    Graham’s Foundation
    Woodstock, GA
  • Keira Sorrells
    Preemie Parent Alliance
    Madison, MS