Neonatal medicine focuses on caring for preterm and term newborn infants with significant medical and surgical needs requiring specialized training. Medical advances have lowered the gestational age of viability and improved the survivability of critically ill infants. As this patient population grows, the need for neonatally trained professionals expands.
Historically, Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) encompassed the main body of physician support in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A reduction in practicing NNPs, a shortage of neonatologists, healthcare provider burnout, and an increased population of critically ill newborns opened opportunities for Physician Assistants (PAs) interested in neonatal medicine. This article discusses an increased need for Neonatal Physician Assistants (NPAs), the role of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) within team-based neonatology, and available data related to APP care, onboarding, and neonatal postgraduate programs.
Information presented benefits PAs interested in neonatology, NICU medical directors integrating APPs into their NICU, and educators interested in developing a structured neonatal onboarding or postgraduate PA program.
Bromley MT. Development of Neonatal Physician Assistants. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(4).
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