The health outcomes of very low birthweight (VLBW) infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) may be jeopardized when required nursing care is missed. This correlational study is the first to look at the association between missed nursing care and mortality, morbidity, and length of stay (LOS) for VLBW infants in a U.S. NICU sample. We used 2016 hospital administrative discharge abstracts for VLBW newborns (n = 7,595) and NICU registered nurse survey responses (n = 6,963) from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators. The 190 sample hospitals were from 19 states in all regions. Missed clinical nursing care was significantly associated with higher odds of bloodstream infection and longer LOS, but not mortality or severe intraventricular hemorrhage. With further research, these results may motivate the development of interventions to reduce missed clinical nursing care in the NICU.
Keywords: infection; length of stay; missed nursing care; mortality; neonatal intensive care; severe intraventricular hemorrhage; very low birthweight infant.