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Outcome of Clinical Nurse Specialist–Led Hyperbilirubinemia Screening of Late Preterm Newborns

Nelson, Laura MSN, BSN, CNS; Doering, Jennifer J. PhD, RN; Anderson, Megan MSN, RNC, CNM; Kelly, Lucy BA

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182506ad6
Feature Article

Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this project was to implement universal screening of all late preterm newborns for hyperbilirubinemia in a level I newborn nursery.

Rationale/Background: Late preterm newborns have traditionally received the same level of care and monitoring as term newborns despite being at increased risk for morbidity and mortality.

Description of the Project: An interdisciplinary clinical nurse specialist–led team guided by the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice developed, piloted, and evaluated a standardized, coordinated approach to universal screening, assessment, and management of hyperbilirubinemia for late preterm newborns.

Outcomes: The readmission rate of late preterm newborns with hyperbilirubinemia in the 30 days after birth was reduced to zero, providing evidence of programmatic effectiveness.

Interpretation/Conclusion: Universal screening of late preterm newborns for hyperbilirubinemia significantly improved outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Implications: Detection of hyperbilirubinemia through universal screening of late preterm newborns is recommended in newborn nurseries.

Author Affiliations: Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Nelson), Meriter Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Madison, Wisconsin; Assistant Professor (Dr Doering), College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Clinical Manager (Ms Anderson), ProHealth Care Women’s Center, Waukesha, Wisconsin; Research Assistant (Ms Kelly), College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

No funding was received for this work.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Laura Nelson, MSN, BSN, CNS, Meriter Hospital, 202 S Park St, Madison, WI 53715 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.