• Conceptual framework;
  • Infant;
  • Near-term infant;
  • Neonate;
  • Outcomes;
  • Prematurity;
  • Risk

In June 2005, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses launched a multiyear initiative to address the unique physiologic and developmental needs of near-term infants (NTIs) defined as those born between 34 and 37 weeks post-menstrual age. The Optimizing Care for the Near-Term Infant Conceptual Model integrates the concepts of neonatal physiologic functional status, nursing care practices, care environment, and the essential role of the family both in the hospital and beyond. The elements of the model will serve to guide program and resource development within the Near-Term Infant Initiative. Goals of the initiative are to raise awareness of the NTI population's unique needs, emphasize the need for research, encourage development and adoption of evidence-based guidelines to promote safe care, and provide resources that assist nurses and other health care professionals in risk-based assessment of NTIs.