Impact of a nurse education programme on oral feeding in a neonatal unit

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Premature neonates often experience feeding difficulties during their hospital stay, and evidence-based interventions have been shown to improve feeding outcomes.
This study investigated whether an infant-led educational bundle led by nurses accelerates the achievement of independent oral feeding in neonates in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Study Design
A quality improvement study with a pre, during and post intervention test design. All premature neonates admitted to the unit were eligible. The feeding program included a four-month nurse training module and nurse coaching.
125 nurses or nurse assistants attended the program and 706 neonates were included. The median time to independent oral feeding (IOF) was 40, 36 and 37 days respectively for pre, during and post intervention. The reduction in time to IOF observed during the post-intervention period compared to the baseline period was significant (HR=1.32, CI 95%: 1.01-1.74). No difference was noted in the length of hospital stay between the three study periods.
An infant-led nurse educational bundle can promote earlier achievement of IOF in preterm neonates
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing in Critical Care
Early online date31 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • feeding bundle
  • neonatal intensive care
  • Nurse education
  • nutrition
  • preterm infants


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