Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Nancy Magnuson, DSN, CS, FNP-BC


Lisa E. Merritt, DNP, CPNP-PC/AC, PMHS

Pamela Lesser, MSN, RN


Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) are designed to care for critically ill newborns who require constant care. The design of the NICU may have an impact on not only the patient and their family but also the nursing staff. Historically neonatal intensive care have employed a cohort model of care. In this model multiple infants are in the same room or pod. With success of single room maternity care, the increased need for changes in neonatal care became apparent. Today, new parents desire extended contact with their extremely preterm and often very sick infant. This trend has led a standard of single room care in NICU’s nationwide. Studies have evaluated the benefits of single room NICU care for families, however there are limited studies to evaluate the nursing perspective on how such a change effects care delivered, safety, communication and teamwork.

A 10 question survey, using a Likert scale, was sent to 68 nurses currently transitioning from cohort style to private room NICU care. An initial survey was sent prior to the design change and then again 6 weeks after the move to private rooms. This exploratory method is a way to gain simple and meaningful insight into areas of concern before the move thus allowing the ability to compare post survey results with the initial findings.

The results showed a significant increase in their satisfaction with the quality of care provided, quality of family focused care, and safety is a priority. The results also showed there to be a significant decline in the quality of family/nurse interactions and in determination to give their best at work. The 2 areas which had no significant changes were employees help others and satisfaction with the quality of communication.

A study of this nature could be repeated in other areas to evaluate nursing concerns and attitudes related to major changes in deliver of care. This can be useful when evaluating nurse satisfaction and retention.

OCLC Number