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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Elverson


NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, kangaroo care, skin-to-skin care, quality improvement


The purpose of this project was to increase the utilization of kangaroo care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Registered nurses were provided a questionnaire to examine baseline data on their attitudes and self-reported practice of kangaroo care in their NICU prior to the intervention. Data was collected on the occurrence of kangaroo care and the characteristics of the infants receiving kangaroo care from the electronic health record. The baseline data was analyzed and interpreted. Based on the literature review and baseline data, the DNP student developed a plan for an educational intervention. Components of awareness, lecture-style education, and return demonstration were incorporated into the educational intervention. Awareness included kangaroo symbols placed at each infant’s bedside to improve visibility and initiate discussion about kangaroo care between parents and RNs. Lecture-style education about the benefits of kangaroo care from the March of Dimes® was to be provided. Return demonstrations involved the RNs returning a demonstration of assisting a parent to perform kangaroo care with an infant on mechanical ventilation (or another respiratory device). Possible scenarios that may occur during kangaroo care and how to respond were to be discussed with the return demonstration. As a package, this quality improvement project was presented to hospital leadership with suggestions for future implementation of the educational intervention.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Neonatal intensive care.
Premature infants -- Hospital care.
Touch -- Therapeutic use.
Sensory stimulation in newborn infants.
Newborn infants -- Care.
Nurses -- Attitudes.
Parent and infant.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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