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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Dannica Callies

Second Advisor

Cynthia Elverson


Neonatal abstinence syndrome, NAS, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, nonpharmacological, alternative, and complementary care


Background/Purpose: Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a multi-system disorder resulting from maternal use of addictive substances. As the number of infants at-risk for NAS grows, so does the need for consistent, specialized care. Nursing protocols (NPs) make care more consistent. Nursing education on NAS needs to become routine. Methods: An educational program and NP was implemented and evaluated on a 24-bed mother-baby unit. The education focused on NAS care, assessment, and caregiver education. Pre- and post-intervention questionnaires assessed the effect on nursing selfreported knowledge, attitudes, and perception of NAS care. Results: Eighteen pre- and post-intervention questionnaires were matched and compared. Wilcoxon signed rank test and Bonferroni adjustment noted statistically significant change in knowledge (p-values 0.021-0.070), perception of nursing care (p-values 0.035- 0.705), and attitudes (p-values 0.035-1.000). A paired t-test performed for case-study responses found a score increase with a 95% confidence interval of 0.588-2.301, noting an increase in knowledge. Discussion: There was no statistically significant change seen in attitude towards NAS care but also no negative affect seen. Improvement in attitudes was not the focus of education program and NP implementation. Implications for Practice: Increased nursing knowledge of NAS care provides nurses with tools to better care for this vulnerable population. The educational program could be continued to ensure competence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Neonatal nursing -- Training.
Newborn infants -- Effect of drugs on.
Newborn infants -- Diseases -- Nursing.
Drug withdrawal symptoms.
Nurses -- Attitudes.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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