Acute care, neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal nurse practitioner, primary care



  1. Etten, Kristen DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, CPNP-PC (Assistant Professor)


ABSTRACT: Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) are recognized as acute care providers but are actually both acute and primary care providers via education and practice. Neonatal nurse practitioners provide primary care such as anticipatory guidance, care and follow-up of technologically dependent infants, and discharge planning. Numerous interventions and care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) fall under the umbrella of health promotion, an aspect of primary care. In addition, NNPs must also be able to recognize, diagnose, and manage myriad common pediatric illnesses. There is a paucity of data to evaluate how NNP programs are meeting the National Association of Neonatal Nurses educational standards on this topic. A REDCap survey was sent to 31 NNP program directors, with a 100% response rate. All programs provide content addressing primary care management in their curriculum. National recognition of the primary care role, in addition to the acute care role that NNPs practice, should increase opportunities for clinical placement sites, employment opportunities, and grant funding. This article aims to demonstrate both the educational preparation and the delivery of primary care that NNPs provide in the NICU and other areas of practice.