Employing a Nutrition Nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Improved Nutrition and Growth Outcomes in Preterm Neonates

AYDEMİR Ö., Saglik A. C., Sekili Z., TEKİN A. N.

NUTRITION IN CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.34, no.4, pp.616-622, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ncp.10216
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.616-622
  • Keywords: breastfeeding, enteral nutrition, growth, neonatal intensive care units, newborn infant, nutrition support, parenteral nutrition, LOW-BIRTH-WEIGHT, METABOLIC BONE-DISEASE, HUMAN-MILK, NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS, BREAST-MILK, INFANTS, MOTHERS, OSTEOPENIA, LACTATION, RETARDATION
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Background Nutrition nurses are clinical nurse specialists with knowledge and experience in nutrition support. We aimed to investigate the nutrition and growth outcomes after employment of a nutrition nurse in our level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods A retrospective cohort study including preterm neonates < 34 weeks and < 2000 g were conducted. Nutrition and growth outcomes of infants in pre-nutrition-nurse and post-nutrition-nurse periods were compared. Primary outcome was presence of postnatal growth retardation (PGR) at term-equivalent age (body weight < 10 percentile at 40 weeks postmenstrual age). Results Infants in pre-nutrition-nurse (n = 38) and post-nutrition-nurse (n = 40) periods were similar with regard to gestational age, birth weight, gender, and perinatal characteristics. The initiation of parenteral nutrition after admission to NICU (30.8 +/- 24.1 vs 6.7 +/- 7.6 hours, P < 0,001) and attainment of full enteral feedings (27.3 +/- 18.1 vs 18.7 +/- 11.3 days, P = 0.034) were earlier in post-nutrition-nurse period. First feeds were more commonly started with breast milk (29% vs 75%, P < 0.001); breastfeeding was more common at discharge (79% vs 95%, P = 0.045) and longer in duration (6.1 +/- 7.3 vs 8.4 +/- 6.3 months, P = 0.008) in post-nutrition-nurse period. Primary outcome PGR at term-equivalent age was lower in post-nutrition-nurse period (57.9% vs 27.5%, P = 0.007). Conclusion Employing a nutrition nurse improved quality of nutrition support, increased breastfeeding, and decreased PGR in preterm neonates. Further prospective evaluation of outcomes in the presence of a nutrition nurse is needed to generalize these findings to other NICUs.