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Authors

  1. Briere, Carrie-Ellen MS, RN, CLC
  2. McGrath, Jacqueline PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
  3. Cong, Xiaomei PhD, RN
  4. Cusson, Regina PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN

Abstract

Oral feeding readiness has been described by researchers in the neonatal intensive care unit, and research has continued on this topic for many years. The purpose of this narrative review is to identify research and practice guidelines related to oral feeding readiness in preterm infants that have occurred during the last decade. The introduction and mastery of oral feeding is a major developmental task for the preterm infant that is often a prerequisite for discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Having a better understanding of the evidence supporting the development of this skill will help the practicing nurse choose appropriate interventions and the researcher to develop trajectories of research that continue to increase our knowledge in this important practice area.