Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Kendra Barker

Committee Member

Christine Mott

Committee Member

Terri Marcischa

Committee Member

Courtney Sweet


Background: Opioid use and drug abuse has led to an increase in fetal exposure to illicit drugs in the United States, putting these infants at risk for developing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Parental involvement in the care of these infants during their hospitalization has become an essential part of the treatment process

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to implement rooming in for infants with in utero exposure to opioids as a quality improvement practice change.

Methods: A literature search relating to improving the care of infants with NAS was conducted. Educational handouts were provided to staff regarding the practice change, and to the parents that described NAS and the process of rooming in. Rooming in was then initiated and data was collected relating to hospital length of stay (LOS), pharmacologic treatment, and breastfeeding. Feedback for this practice change was conducted with a staff survey.

Results: Data was collected on 19 infants over a 90-day period. This data was compared to hospital averages previously collected. LOS decreased from an average of 14.4 days in the comparison group to 6.11 days in the study group (P= 0.0004). Pharmacological utilization to treat infants with NAS, decreased from 62% in the comparison group to 5.3% in the study group (P < 0.0001). Breastfeeding rates at discharge increased from 14.1% in the comparison group to 26.3% in the study group (P =0.1891).

Discussion: The change in LOS and pharmacological treatment was found to be statistically and clinically significant. It is predicted that LOS and use of pharmacological treatment will continue at this current trend if rooming in continues. Breast feeding rates were found to be clinically but not statistically significant.