1. Section Editor(s): Hamlin, Lynette PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
  2. Perinatal Editors
  3. Marin, Terri PhD, NNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FNAP
  4. Neonatal Editor

Article Content

At the annual meeting of the Perinatal Editorial Board for The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing (JPNN), the board members discussed whether the Journal should have an author standard requiring the use of gender-neutral terms. If so, should all authors be required to conform to the standard? As our readers, authors, and peer reviewers could surmise, the discussion was both thoughtful and filled with individual perspectives. The topic is one that is not unique to this journal, nor unique to our profession, nation, and world today. It is political, biological, cultural, and sociological.


The Editorial Board members talked about how they, individually, would feel about including gender-neutral author standards for JPNN. Would they relinquish their role in the Journal if JPNN did or did not adopt these standards? What could be potential benefits and disadvantages to JPNN if we adopted such a standard? Would requiring authors to conform to a potential JPNN gender-neutral standard decrease or increase manuscript submissions? What about international authors? Do they have factors that would prohibit their inclusion of gender-neutral standards in their manuscripts?


This discussion only involved half of the full JPNN Editorial Board-the perinatal side and not the neonatal side. In consultation with my neonatal editor, colleague, we concurred that the use of gender-inclusive language is accepted but not required for manuscripts submitted to JPNN. Defining sex as a biological variable is appropriate. These changes will be incorporated into the revised author guidelines for 2024.


Our Selected Topics Issue addresses a variety of interesting and important neonatal areas spanning from nutrition to thermoregulation and skin care to vascular access. In addition, we present parental-focused articles published online. Our continuing education article presents a relatively unrecognized complication of prematurity, known as late-onset hyponatremia. This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology and potential suboptimal outcomes related to this phenomenon and discusses research that has examined current approaches for effective management. In our second article, Dr Ullman and colleagues from Queensland, Australia, present the findings of their prospective investigation that examined risk factors and complications associated with various vascular access devices (VADs). With VADs being used frequently in the neonatal population, this study highlights vital information to mitigate adverse outcomes directly related to indwelling vascular catheters, including sepsis, extravasation, and integumentary injury.


Our third article focuses on a very novel and unique study that examined the effect of "hat use" on temperature stability in term newborns immediately following birth. This study, conducted by our colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, evaluated 2 groups of infants (n = 482), those who had hats placed following birth (n = 257) and those who did not (n = 225), to determine temperature variations between these groups. The significant findings of this study will serve to support neonatal nursing practice change across neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) on the global stage. In our fourth article, our colleagues from Tokyo present the findings from their study that identified factors associated with neonatal skin desquamation. Physiologic desquamation manifests as peeling or shedding of the outer layers of skin, a condition not only frequently seen in our premature population but is also prevalent among macrosomic infants, or those with meconium staining. Unfavorable outcomes related to skin barrier disruption include fluid instability, dermatitis, and the development of future allergies; therefore, prevention and prompt treatment of desquamation are essential early in life.


Our online articles are centered on parental issues associated with NICU-specific issues. Our colleagues from Montreal, Canada, present qualitative study findings that evaluated how parents perceived care through an NICU restructure from "pods" to single family rooms. Multiple issues were identified that highlight the importance of effective communication between parents and staff during the NICU restructuring process. Dr Campbell-Yeo explored and described parental experiences related to NICU visitation restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As expected, parents reported experiences that affected them physically, emotionally, and psychologically. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must learn from these lessons to safely move forward in our recovery efforts.


Finally, in our Neonatal Expert column, Drs Kenner and Boykova recap lessons learned from the pandemic and how developing global partnerships between professional neonatal organizations may strengthen our resolve and collectively advocate to address neonatal nursing-specific issues that arose during this stressful period. They argue that this approach will serve to amplify our message and consolidate efforts to improve our profession through idea-sharing. This column features rich, thought-provoking initiatives that all neonatal nurses should embrace as we continue to reflect upon our pandemic experiences and strive to provide high-quality care.


Thank you to all our fabulous authors, researchers, column contributors, reviewers, and support staff for producing another successful neonatal section of The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing (JPNN). And as always, I want to offer a special thank you to our readership for your continued support of JPNN! In 2024, we have several interesting topics including nutrition, workforce issues, behavioral health and substance abuse, and special topics. If you have any questions, inquiries, or want to become involved as a peer reviewer or Guest Editor, please reach out to me at mailto:[email protected].


-Lynette Hamlin, PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN


Perinatal Editor


-Terri Marin, PhD, NNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FNAP


Neonatal Editor