1. Macintosh, Janelle L. B. PhD, RN
  2. Eden, Lacy M. MS, FNP-C
  3. (Beth) Luthy, Karlen E. DNP, FNP, FAANP, FAAN
  4. Beckstrand, Renea PhD, RN


Background: Nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team. Parents rely on nurses for information regarding the plan of care for their child. Medically stable infants under supervision in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) can and should be immunized.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore attitudes and knowledge in NICU nurses regarding 2-month immunizations.


Methods: Participants were attendees of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NAAN) 33rd Annual Conference. Participants responded to a survey that focused on knowledge and attitudes regarding 2-month immunizations.


Findings/Results: A total of 188 nurses attending the NAAN conference completed the survey. Most nurses had positive attitudes regarding immunizations. A majority (n = 117, 62.5%) of NICU nurses knew that immunizations should be given to medically stable infants in a NICU. However, as few as 27% of participants were able to identify recommended 2-month immunizations. Almost two-thirds of participants (n = 115, 61.1%) did not know current guidelines regarding minimum age at the time of administration of immunizations, although NPs were more likely to know current guidelines. Nurse practitioners were more comfortable talking family about immunizations and were more likely to view that the illnesses prevented by vaccines as serious.


Implications for Practice: NICU nurses would benefit from continued education focused on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for 2-month immunizations. Additionally, as a primary source of information for parents, NICU nurses should be encouraged to practice teaching parents and family about immunizations. This practice could reinforce nurse knowledge.


Implications for Research: Further research regarding the effect of education, simulation, and yearly reinforcement of CDC guidelines could further enlighten our knowledge on this topic.