International Neonatal Nursing Competency Framework

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Defining the scope of practice and role of a nurse globally is multifaceted, especially given the complex nature of neonatal nursing. UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognise the uniqueness of the neonatal nursing and midwifery roles as being instrumental in influencing neonatal outcomes. Training and education are pivotal to achieve this.

It has been highlighted on many global stages that there are too few nurses and midwives taking care of neonates and that there is a huge disparity in training and education. Therefore, a working group to define competencies was developed with representation from countries around the world. It was a priority that the document development could be utilized globally, which required a collaborative approach and contribution. COINN gathered input from many collaborating organisations and practicing nurses across the globe and created COINN Neonatal Nursing Competencies.

Information was gleaned from neonatal guidelines, educational standards and governmental directives from many countries to develop the document that would become a foundation for identifying competencies and defining the neonatal nursing role, especially for places where neonatal nursing and nurses’ roles are not explicit. These competencies were launched at the COINN International Conference May 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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