Thursday, June 22, 2017

AWHONN Convenes the Neonatal Skin Care Science Team To Update Evidence-Based Neonatal Skin Care Guidelines

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is the proud recipient of a grant titled “Neonatal Skin Care Evidence-Based Guideline, 4th Edition.” The funding supports AWHONN’s Efforts to update the 3rd Edition of the Neonatal Skincare Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline with the latest research and evidence for practice and publish as the 4th Edition. The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) will contribute their expertise as a collaborator on the project. The publication of this resource was made possible by an educational grant from Johnson and Johnson Consumer, Inc.

This Guideline provides registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and healthcare providers with evidence-based clinical practice recommendations for newborn skin care appropriate for full-term and preterm newborns. The goal of the evidence-based guideline is to support normal skin development and optimize neonatal skin integrity.

Science team members where chosen based on their clinical and research expertise. This is the first time AWHONN has worked with an international team on guideline development. Members of the Neonatal Skincare Team are:

  •  Debra Brandon, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN, will serve as the team leader of the neonatal skin care science team.  She is an Associate Professor and Director of the PhD Program at Duke University School of Nursing and a Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Intensive Care Nursery of Duke University Medical Center. She has over 40 years’ experience in neonatology and infant development. Dr. Brandon’s program of research focuses on understanding the impact of the environment of care in neonatal units on the health and development of high-risk infants with an overall goal of implementing interventions to improve the short- and long-term outcomes of both infants and their families. Her research includes interventions to maximize skin health and development in preterm infants. She is currently the lead for a research project to understand the impact of clustered caregiving on skin health.
  • Catherine Hill, MSN, FNP-BC, will serve as the project manager and co-lead to the neonatal skin care science team. She is a nurse program development specialist at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and is a nurse practitioner currently working in the area of pediatrics. She has over 30 years of experience as a clinician, educator, and faculty member. Her current work with AWHONN involves development of educational products, evidence-based guidelines, and both national and international speaking on evidence-based practices and newborn skin care.
  • Lauren Heimall, MSN, RNC-NIC, PCNS-BC, will function as a national member to the neonatal skin care science team and is a representative from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She is a clinical nurse specialist in the neonatal/ infant intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with over 15 years of experience.  In her role, she provides expert care to patients, supports nurses, and helps to bring evidence-based practices to the bedside.  Some of her current work includes involvement in harm prevention initiatives such as skin injury prevention, assisting with development of a Neuro NICU program, and involvement in newborn resuscitation practices for the Special Delivery Unit. She has published articles on diaper dermatitis and enteral feeding tube placement.
  • Joanne Kuller, RN, BSN, MS will function as a national member to the neonatal skin care science team. She has a 30-year career in neonatal care and is currently a neonatal clinical nurse specialist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in Oakland, California. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on neonatal skin care and has been involved in several clinical research projects assessing the barrier function of the neonate’s skin. Ms. Kuller has been a member of the AWHONN Neonatal Skin Care Evidence-Based Guideline development team for the initial research.
  • Carolyn Lund, RN, MS, FAAN, will function as a national team member to the neonatal skin care science team. She is a Neonatal Clinical Specialist in the NICU at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and is an Associate Clinical Professor in the school of nursing at the University of California San Francisco.  She was the science team leader for the development of the first edition of the Neonatal Skin Care Guideline which was implemented and evaluated in 51 nurseries in the United States in 2001. She also participated in the revisions of the guideline published in 2007 and 2013. She continues to contribute to knowledge of neonatal skin care through original research in the areas of skin maturation, skin integrity and adhesive damage, and bathing effects on newborn’s skin barrier function and the skin microbiome.
  • Thomas McEwan, MSc, PgDip (ANNP), RM, will function as an international member to the neonatal skin care science team. He is currently a Lecturer in Midwifery and doctoral student at the University of the West of Scotland and has been a midwife for 18 years.  He currently delivers high quality education to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in maternal and newborn health and care in the U.K.  He also works clinically as an Honorary Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (ANNP) within several local maternity and neonatal units.  He has also undertaken research into many aspects of neonatal care and has recently been a contributing author to a leading midwifery textbook Rankin: Physiology in Childbearing 4E.
  • Karen New, RN, RM, PhD, will function as an international member to the neonatal skin care science team. She is a Clinical Research Fellow at The University of Queensland, Australia, as well as a board member of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) and the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses (ACNN). As Professional Officer of ACNN, Karen undertook a very successful roadshow around Australia, highlighting and promoting the 2013 edition of the AWHONN neonatal skin care guidelines and educated to the importance of improving neonatal skin injury prevention and management. Karen has a number of PhD candidates researching the area of neonatal skin injuries, neurodevelopment and early warning tools. Karen brings an international, both high and low resource settings, perspective to the update of the guideline.

“The benefits of having evidence-based neonatal skin care guidelines are vital to the health of newborns and their families,” said AWHONN’s CEO, Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN. “On behalf of AWHONN, we would like to thank Johnson & Johnson for helping bring awareness of these benefits by their support of this important work.”

“We look forward to working with AWHONN on the neonatal skin care guidelines,” said NANN President, Lori Brittingham, MSN, RN, CNS, ACCNS-N. “NANN understands the criticality of evidence-based practice in relation to neonatal skin care and is excited to collaborate on this important resource.”

“There is a tremendous need to communicate and educate the best way to take care of babies’ skin,” said David Mays, Senior Director of Global Scientific Engagement. “As the leader in neonatal skin care research globally, our collaboration with AWHONN gives nurses and other newborn-focused HCPs the opportunity to share science-based recommendations, that are vital to the health and wellness of families everywhere.”

For media interviews, contact:
Mary Elizabeth Elkordy for AWHONN


Since 1969, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education, and other professional and clinical resources. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women’s health, obstetric, and neonatal nursing across the United States. Learn more about AWHONN at