Nursing the high-risk newborn | Australian College of Nursing

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Nursing the high-risk newborn

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This unit of study is aimed at students caring for critically unwell/unstable infants. This unit of study is designed for nurses employed within specialist neonatal units attached to delivery services or within children’s hospitals that provide care for neonates with anomalies, high risk infants and/or infants requiring surgery. Students will reflect on their own neonatal nursing practice.

Students must be working in either neonatal or paediatric intensive care units with the capability of providing mechanical ventilation, and where the student is responsible for providing the neonate with intensive care nursing.

Important note: This unit of study DOES NOT include extreme prematurity from birth.

Nursing the high-risk newborn

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care

Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing Studies

PG unit of study




071 – Applied neonatal physiology

255 – Assessment of growth and development


Tier 1

Prescribed texts:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Heart Association 2011, Textbook of neonatal resuscitation, 6th edn, AAP, Chicago.

Boxwell, G (ed) 2010, Neonatal intensive care nursing, 2nd edn, Taylor & Francis Ltd, Routledge, London.

Co-ordinated by: Trish Lowe MACN



Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program

After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Not the completed assessment item. E.g. Assessment 1. Online discussion 


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Maladaptive processes

a) Examine issues including parental support and grief for the families of infants in surgical and perinatal environments

Assessment 1 Online discussions  x 2



Theme 2: The impact of chromosomal and congenital abnormalities

b) Apply evidence based specialist knowledge and relevant comprehensive neonatal assessment skills to the care of the infant

Assessment 2 Essay (2000 words)



Theme 3: The infant requiring surgery

c) Demonstrate knowledge of  resuscitation and stabilisation of infants in surgical and perinatal environments

Assessment 3 Case analysis (3000 words)




d) Analyse current evidence to plan and prioritise care for infants with chromosomal and congenital anomalies





e) Investigate current evidence to plan and prioritise care specific to gestational subpopulations





f) Analyse current  evidence to plan and prioritise care for infants with surgical conditions in perinatal environments





Tier 1 = $2,035

Tier 2 = $2,345

Tier 3 = $2,725

Tier 4 = $3,275
*Fees are are subject to change without notice.