Australian Standards For Neonatal Nurses

The Australian Standards for Neonatal Nurses (3rd Edition) are available free of charge (electronic copy for members) or for purchase (hard copy). These standards are currently being revised with the 4th Edition being available by May 2019. 

ACNN invites you to share these and make available to your neonatal nursing colleagues within your workplaces by downloading the available pdf and printing and/or saving it as an icon to the desktop of your work computers.

Printed bound copies are available for purchase at $20 per copy, including postage and handling.

Purchase standards in booklet format

Why standards are needed

The skills and knowledge required for neonatal nursing have evolved from a traditional body-systems physiological approach to one incorporating advanced decision making both clinical and ethical, critical thinking skills, counselling skills, cultural awareness, the application of research findings, technological skill, information technology to name a few. Nurses have become the front line care givers in preventing many of the adverse outcomes that may affect the infant and family for life.

If neonatal nurses are to be prepared as professionals for the health care needs of the future, as well as for today’s reality, a relevant evidence based standards document is required.The standards for neonatal nurses have been developed to reflect the beliefs that neonatal nurses have about their practice and the knowledge that underpin those beliefs. Within the practice of the neonatal nurse both core and advanced nursing behaviours are evident.

The format of the standards

The standards are organised into domains that represent the components of that specialty practice. Each domain has closely related descriptors as key performance elements. Each element has a number of cues and through direct observation or questioning the outcome of the nurse’s behaviours and actions can be identified.

Neonatal nurses practice in a variety of settings and as such, individual practice settings are encouraged to develop cues for each of the key performance elements identified. These cues, specific to each setting, reflect the diversity of the context of neonatal nursing.

Utilised for the advancement of clinical practice based assessment, or as a self reflective tool for all levels of neonatal nurses in the clinical practice, or educational practice setting, the standards encourage the neonatal nurse to incorporate the  standards into their nursing care, thereby enhancing nursing care to infants and their families.

The standards may be used for nurses beginning their careers as neonatal nurses through to clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, as the nurse moves through the continuum from novice to expert. The standards may also be used as a framework for curriculum development and assessment of postgraduate speciality programs.

Updated 4 February  2019