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The Experiences of NICU Nurses in Caring for Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Purpose: This study explored the experiences of NICU nurses in caring for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Design: A qualitative research approach was used with open-ended questions employing computer-assisted personal interviews.

Sample: Fourteen NICU nurses employed in a regional hospital provided responses.

Results: The nurses reflected a personal struggle between a desire to employ their technical and critical nursing skills and the need to provide expected maternal care to NAS infants. Other themes included frustration and burnout, challenges to values about parenting, and increased awareness of drug use in the community and at home.

Discussion: The results suggest that nurses underrate the skill required to care for infants with NAS. The level of knowledge, patience, and commitment to these newborns should be reframed to increase job satisfaction, and education should be offered to nurses about women struggling with addictions.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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