NIDCAP Nursery Program Guide
An overview of the NIDCAP Nursery Program and description of the application process, the preparation process and certification process.
Preparation for Site Visit
Guide to preparing for your nursery’s site visit during the certification process
NIDCAP Nursery Application: Part I
Part I is submitted with its fee and upon approval a nursery begins submission of Application Part II
|Application Part II: Nursery Self-Assessment Questionnaire||Preview||Download|
|Nursery Assessment Manual||Preview||Download|
|NIDCAP Nursery Program Assessment Manual Scoresheets||Preview||Download|
|Provision of Evidence||Preview||Download|
|Certification Renewal Application Year 2||Preview||Download|
|Certification Renewal Application Year 4||Preview||Download|
|Certification Renewal Application Year 6||Preview||Download|
The NIDCAP Nursery Program under the auspices of the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) recognizes the excellence of a hospital nursery’s commitment to and integration of the principles of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) for infants, families, and staff. Hospitals and their newborn intensive and special care nursery systems receive NIDCAP Nursery Certification when they demonstrate that they consistently promote best short and long term development of all infants and families in their care, and support their professionals and staff in accordance with the principle of assuring best personal and professional development towards relationship-based care implementation. NFI certified NIDCAP Nurseries provide a dynamic environment for the full integration of expert medical and nursing care securely embedded within the active pursuit of mutual respect, caring, nurturance of and collaboration with infants and families, and among all professionals and staff members.
NIDCAP Nursery Certification entails formal recognition and validation of the applicant nursery’s characteristics:
Nurseries eligible to apply to the NFI for certification must be part of a hospital system that, if in the USA, is licensed and accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, or if outside of the USA, meets the respective country’s accreditation standards. Furthermore, nurseries eligible for certification must provide care to preterm infants under 1500 grams and/or under 30 weeks gestation either from birth on (NICU, Level III Nursery) or in a convalescent mode (Level II Nursery; step-down nursery); and/or provide care for full-term or near full term infants who require intensive or specialized medical care to ensure their survival; and/or provide care for newborns cared for in a hospital setting for various reasons. Such nurseries must employ at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) NFI-certified NIDCAP Professional in good standing for the purpose of promoting individualized developmental care. Hospitals with multiple nursery settings may apply for certification for only one or for more than one of their nursery settings. Hospitals are encouraged to apply ultimately for certification for all the nurseries settings under their purview.
Please see NIDCAP Nursery Program: A Guide to Preparation, Application and Implementation of NIDCAP Nursery Certification, for a complete description of the NIDCAP Nursery Program Eligibility Requirements.
The NIDCAP Nursery Program application process consists of the following six steps:
Please see the NIDCAP Nursery Certification Program: A Guide to Preparation, Application and Implementation of NIDCAP Nursery Certification, for a complete description of the NNCP application process.
The NIDCAP Nursery Program Application: Part I requests the following information from the nursery applicant:
For complete information, please see the NIDCAP Nursery Application: Part I.
The NIDCAP Nursery Program Application: Part II, Nursery Self-Assessment Questionnaire requests information from the nursery applicant regarding the following topics:
For complete information, please see NNCP Application: Part II, Nursery Self-Assessment Quesitionnaire.
The Nursery Assessment Manual consists of 121 scales grouped into four major categories of a nursery’s characteristics and functioning, as well as of four Category Summary Scales, and one Overall Nursery Summary Scale. The individual and the summary scales address the level of individualization, family-centeredness, and developmental support that a nursery provides for the infants and families in its care, as well as for the professionals and staff involved in delivering such care. Aspects of the nursery considered are the physical environment, the care for the infants, the care for the families, and the care for the professionals and staff members in the nursery, who in turn care for the infants and families. The individual scales are organized into the following four categories:
The five-point rating scales of the NIDCAP Nursery Assessment Criterion Scales (NNCCS) assess a nursery’s philosophy and implementation of care in reference to the NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) model. Each of the five score points on the NNCCS ratings represents a level or degree of NIDCAP implementation as follows:
Scores derived from the individual ratings within each of the four categories are utilized to describe and characterize an individual nursery in order to assess the nursery’s level of developmental care implementation and integration, and its readiness to be certified as an individualized, developmentally supportive, family-centered NIDCAP Nursery (see “How are NNCCS Scores derived by the NNCP Site Review Team?”).
For complete information, please see Nursery Assessment Manual.
The NIDCAP Nursery Certification Criterion Scales (NNCS) Provision of Evidence offers the applicant the opportunity to demonstrate the nursery’s implementation of relationship-based, family-centered, developmental care. The applicant is asked to provide specific information and documentation that corroborates the scores assigned to the NNCCS. The NNCCS Provision of Evidence lists required evidence for scores of four (4) and five (5) aside from optional evidence for scores one to three (1–3) for each of the 121 scales of the NNCCS. Required information and/or documentation in substantiation of scores may include:
For complete information, please see NNCCS Provision of Evidence.
Before the Site Visit
If the NIDCAP Nursery Program Application: Part II, Nursery Self-Assessment Questionnaire, and the supporting documents and evidence are deemed by the Site Review Team to reflect in high likelihood successful certification, the NIDCAP Nursery Director, in collaboration with the nursery applicant and the Site Review Team, develops the NIDCAP Nursery Program Site Review Schedule. This schedule addresses the dates and times that particular activities (e.g., observations, interviews, chart reviews, etc.) will be conducted, and specifies the logistics for the site visit.
Please see Preparation for the NNCP Site Review.
During the Site Visit
The NIDCAP Nursery Program Site Visit is typically scheduled for two days of on-site site review, and one day of off-site integration, depending upon the size and complexity of the nursery. During this Site Visit the Site Review Team experiences the same path that families take from the hospital’s entrance, through the hospital, and to their infants’ bedsides. The Team, furthermore, observes overall, as well as specific aspects of the nursery environment, and meets with the hospital and nursery’s administrative leadership; representatives from across and within disciplines; and parents and other family members whose infants are currently cared for in the nursery. On the final day, the Site Review Team members each score the 121 scales, based upon the site’s self-assessment including the written materials submitted in advance, and the on-site observations (See FAQ: “How are NNCCS Scores derived by the NNCP Site Review Team?”)
Please see NIDCAP Nursery Certification Program: A Guide to Preparation, Application and Implementation of NIDCAP Nursery Certification, for a complete description of the NIDCAP Nursery Program application process.
On the final day of the Site Visit, the Site Review Team meets off-site to share with each other what each of the Team members learned in the course of the site review, and integrates this information with the information gleaned from the application materials already reviewed prior to the visit. Then the Team members each score the 121 scales, based upon the Site’s self-assessment and the on-site observations. The scores derived during this process by each of the reviewers yield the Averaged Scale Scores by Category; and the Overall Hospital and Nursery Summary Score.
Towards the end of the final site visit day, the Site Review Team meets briefly with the site’s NICU Leadership Team with the following goals: 1) To convey an overall impression about areas that were exemplary; 2) To convey an overall impression about areas that will require further work; and 3) To provide an opportunity to ask the site for further clarification of any of the points raised during the course of the review of supporting documents, Site Self-Assessment, observations, and interviews that were conducted.
The NIDCAP Nursery Program Summary Report is developed for the purpose of sharing the final results of the review process with the nursery applicant. Each Site Reviewer develops specific recommendations for the NIDCAP Nursery Program Summary Report. These recommendations are shared with the NIDCAP Nursery Program Director, who then integrates the recommendations into the Summary Report. This document is reviewed and edited by each of the Team Members and then returned to the Director for further integration and the creation of a graphic representation of the Team Members’ Nursery Assessment Manual scores. With final approval of the Review Team, the Director sends the Summary Report to the NIDCAP Nursery Program Steering Committee for review, feedback, questions, and/or recommendation to the NFI Board for final disposition.
The Board of Directors of the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) confers NIDCAP Nursery Certification upon the nursery applicant via sending of the Summary Report letter. Upon certification the successful nursery applicant may wish to plan a NIDCAP Nursery Certification Award Ceremony in collaboration with the NNCP Chairperson and Director, and the NFI Board Regardless of a celebration, in all cases the NFI President contacts the NFI membership to announce the confirmation of the award of NIDCAP Nursery Certification to the applicant nursery.
Should an applicant nursery fail to achieve NIDCAP Nursery Certification yet benefit from further development, the Summary Report Letter will include recommendations for further education and preparation of the site for instance by attending one of the NIDCAP Nursery Program workshops; by further mentoring from a NIDCAP Trainer; and/or by further NIDCAP training. Specific guidance is offered to the site for the next steps of further growth.and the nursery’s developmental leadership team is supported in solidifying their work towards successful NIDCAP Nursery Certification.
Depending upon the size and complexity of the nursery, the application and review process takes a minimum of one year. For some nurseries the process may take longer, from 16 months to two years.
The process includes the submission and review of the NIDCAP Nursery Program Application: Parts I and II; the applicant’s scoring of the NIDCAP Nursery Certification Criterion Scales (NNCCS); the submission of NNCCS Provision of Evidence; and the Preparation for the NNCP Site Review. This is followed by the implementation of the Site Review Visit, the final review of all documents/materials, interviews, observations by the Site Review Team and the arrival of a final disposition regarding the applicant nursery summarized in the NNCP Summary Report.
|Application: Part I||USD 1,500.00|
|Application: Part II||USD 9,000.00|
|Site Review Visit||USD 18,720.00*|
*Based on a three-day Site Visit.
For complete information, please see Cost Analysis and Budget Justification for NIDCAP Nursery Program Fees and Travel Expenses.
The NIDCAP Nursery Program Certification Renewal Application Process was developed to ensure that hospital
nurseries, that in the past have received NFI NIDCAP Nursery Certification, continue to offer a high standard of NIDCAP care to infants, their families and the caregivers who care for them. This progressive quality assurance practice certifies that these nurseries: 1) demonstrate that they consistently promote best short and long term development of all infants and families in their care; 2) support their professionals and staff in accordance with the principle of assuring best personal and professional development towards relationship‐based care implementation; and 3) provide a dynamic environment for the full integration of expert medical and nursing care securely embedded within the active pursuit of mutual respect, caring, nurturance of, and collaboration with, infants and families, and among all professionals and staff members.
Rodd E. Hedlund, MEd
Director, NFI-NIDCAP Nursery Program