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child development, language development, nursing education, nursing students, pediatric nursing



  1. Brasher, Susan PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
  2. Becklenberg, Amy DNP, RN, FNP-BC
  3. Darcy Mahoney, Ashley PhD, NNP-BC, FAAN
  4. Ross, Kimberly MA
  5. Stapel-Wax, Jennifer L. PsyD


Background: Research shows that the number of loving words children hear in their first 3 years of life has a tremendous impact on their health, developmental, and literacy outcomes. Early language transactions should be rich in engagement, quantity, quality, and context-a term called language nutrition.


Problem: The curriculum in most nursing programs does not emphasize the importance of early language exposure and ways to empower families to talk with their babies.


Approach: The Talk With Me Baby Curriculum for Nurses, which includes techniques to empower families to better engage conversationally with their babies, was integrated into the prelicensure nursing curriculum.


Outcomes: More than 1,300 nursing students have received knowledge and skills on early language exposure and ways nurses can promote parent-child interactions.


Conclusion: Nurses have the opportunity to empower families to engage with their babies socially, emotionally, and linguistically as a means of promoting healthy brain development.