Neonatal Skin Care: Evaluation of the AWH0NN/NANN Research-Based Practice Project on Knowledge and Skin Care Practices


Address for correspondence: Carolyn H. Lund, RN, MS, FM, Intensive Care Nursery, Children's Hospital.



To develop and evaluate an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for assessment and routine care of neonatal skin, educate nurses about the scientific basis for practices recommended in the guideline, and design procedures that facilitate implementation of the project guideline into clinical practice.


Descriptive report of the collaborative neonatal skin care research-based practice project of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.


Neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) and special-care nurseries and well-baby nurseries in 51 hospitals located throughout the United States.


Member site coordinators (N = 51), nurses who work at the selected sites, and the neonates observed during both the pre- and post-implementation phases of the project (N = 2,820).


An evidence-based clinical practice guideline was developed, sites were selected from all respondents of the call for sites, site coordinator training was provided, data collection was facilitated by project-specific data collection tools, and the project was evaluated by the science team.

Main Outcome Measures:

Diversity and numbers of sites represented, patient representation, site coordinator knowledge of neonatal skin care pre- and postimplementation, use of project designed implementation tools, satisfaction with project guideline and the data collection process, changes in practices and product use, and site coordinators' experiences during guideline implementation.


Fifty-one sites completed the project, representing NICU, special-care, and well-baby nurseries in both academic and community hospital settings in 27 states. Registered nurses working in these sites totaled 4,754 full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) (in NICU/special-care and well-baby nurseries). Site coordinators demonstrated increased knowledge of research-based neonatal skin care and satisfaction with the implementation tools and data collection process. Product use changed, reflecting acquisition of new knowledge. Barriers to implementation of the guideline were identified.


The AWHONN/NANN Neonatal Skin Care Research-Based Practice Project demonstrated increased knowledge among site coordinators who received training, facilitated changes in neonatal skin care as defined by the practice guideline, and thus advanced evidence-based clinical practice.