The role of the Neonatal Nurse Specialist in 21st Century

21세기 신생아 전문 간호사의 역할과 전망

  • 이자형 (이화여자대학교 간호과학대학)
  • Published : 2000.12.31


The role of the neonatal nurse specialist has been well established over the past decade and now reform in 21st century. Neonatal nurse specialists responsibilities in caring for critically and long-term chronically ill infants and their families are very important. Neonatal nurse specialists have a two fold responsibility in caring for these infants. First, through acquiring advanced practice education in complex neonatal care and diagnostic skills, neonatal nurse specialists meet the physiologic needs of the infant. Second, neonatal nurse specialists provide a more holistic approach to their care through evaluating the family in treatment plans and involving the family in discharge planning for the infant. In some institutions, neonatal nurse specialists are directly involved in institutional and/or home follow-up care and case management also. It is the neonatal nurse specialists responsibility to function collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team in managing critically or chronically ill infants from admission to discharge. The role of the neonatal nurse specialist case manager can be described as one that focuses on individualized care of the infant, while providing continuity of care to both the infant and family. The neonatal nurse specialist's role will vary depending on the neonatal intensive care unit(NICU). Therefore, the multidisciplinary collaborative approach to long-term management of infants in the NICU is extremely important to provide successful transition to home or to long-term rehabilitative care facilities because care for the chronically ill infant is complex and multifaceted. I suggest the role of neonatal nurse specialist in 21st century are as follows. 1. Diagnostic/patient assessment 2. Management of patient health/illness 3. Administering/monitoring therapeutic interventions and regimens 4. Monitoring/ensuring quality of health care practices 5. Organization and work role 6. Helping role 7. Teaching/coaching role 8. Management of rapidly changing situations 9. Consulting role The advanced practice nursing model of care delivered by neonatal nurse specialist's in the NICU incorporates medical and nursing role functions and emphasizes holism, caring, and a health perspective for critically and chronically ill neonates and their families.