• neonates;
  • nursing management;
  • spiritual care


This article aims to explore spiritual care in the neonatal care environment in addition to highlighting the importance of spiritual leadership of a health team in that context.


Neonatal care is an ethically demanding and stressful area of practice. Babies and families require spiritual needs to be recognized in the context of holistic care. Literature around spiritual leadership is explored to nurture workplace spirituality.


Analysis of a range of sources provides a theoretical reflection on spiritual leadership and spiritual care in neonatal care settings.

Key issues

The literature identifies that the carers should consider carefully on how care given may affect the infant and family. Themes relating to the baby's and family's spiritual needs and those of the staff in this area are identified. Spiritual leadership by the manager will provide support to the staff and help spiritual need to be met in this area of practice.


Spiritual needs should be acknowledged within neonatal care whether these are of babies, families or the team itself.

Implications for nursing management

Managers have responsibility to ensure that spiritual care is carried out for babies and their families and to care for the team as spiritual leaders.