1. Beal, Judy A. DNSc, PNP, RN
  2. Freda, Margaret Comerford EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN

Article Content

Cappelman, J. (2004). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48(2), 167-174.


As we become more aware each day of how important it is to examine nursing from a global perspective, this research, conducted in the United Kingdom, examined a community neonatal nursing intervention that most assuredly has direct application to our practice in the United States. All neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses readily can agree that while the unit is effective in providing the most sophisticated technology available to care for premature infants, it is not developmentally "friendly." This study used a qualitative case study approach to describe how a community neonatal nursing team supported families of premature infants. Qualitative case studies are appropriately used when there is very little research available on a topic and when the researcher has little or no control over the situation to be explored. In this study, a community neonatal nursing network consisting of four experienced neonatal nurses and midwives was purposefully selected to participate in direct observation of their nursing interventions with families, in a review of their nursing notes, and in a series of semi-structured interviews, all conducted over 4 months. Data analysis was guided by the well-established protocols described by Tesch (1990) and Morse and Field (1996), including interpretational qualitative analysis and thematic content analysis. Validity and reliability (referred to as rigor by qualitative researchers) was achieved through prolonged observation, the use of three data sources, and verification of analysis by the nursing team. The work of the neonatal community network was best described by two broad themes: working with mothers and working with others. Working with mothers included keeping in touch with the family, the importance of confirming that the baby was well, ensuring that the mother was coping well and was competent as a caregiver, and developing close relationships with the families. Working with others involved developing and maintaining liaisons with the multidisciplinary neonatal team. As early discharge continues to be the norm, this model of community neonatal nursing may well serve to ease the transition from the NICU to the home for parents of premature infants.


Comment by Judy Beal




1.Morse, J. M., & Field, P. A. (1996). Nursing research: The application of qualitative approaches (2nd ed.). London: Chapman Hall. [Context Link]


2.Tesch, R. (1990). Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. Basingstoke: Falmer Press. [Context Link]