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NANN's podcast series provides listeners with advice, tips, and expertise to better inform neonatal nurses, industry partners, and families of NICU patients.


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Celebrating Neonatal Nurses Week

From Monday, September 14th through Sunday, September 20th, 2020, NANN is celebrating Neonatal Nurses Week. This weeklong celebration is a time to honor nurse colleagues and show pride in being a neonatal nurse or neonatal APRN. In this celebratory episode, Jill is joined by Tommie Farrell, Kelly Roebuck, and Melanie Crisafulli – three NICU nurses at various stages of their careers. Together, Jill, Tommie, Kelly, and Melanie share advice, lessons learned, and their love for neonatal nursing. We hope listeners of this NANNcast episode feel inspired, supported, and proud to be a neonatal nurse not only during Neonatal Nurses Week, but always!

Utilizing Speech Language Pathologists in the NICU

Jill Beck is joined by Laura Czernik, MA CCC/SLP, a speech language pathologist from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, to discuss how beneficial speech language pathologists can be in the NICU. Speech language pathologists are not present in every NICU, but their services can impact developmental outcomes relating to communication, cognition, swallowing, and feeding in babies. Jill and Laura dive into how Laura promotes safe and efficient feeding and swallowing in some of the most fragile patients. Listen in as they discuss cue-based feeding versus volume-based feeding, nipple flow rates, tips for units that do not have access to speech language pathologists, and much more.

Starting the Conversation: Racial Disparity in the NICU

NANN believes in the equality of all human beings despite race, gender, sexual identity, or creed. While we believe all babies should receive the same excellent quality of care, the data shows that race and unconscious bias affect the care and outcomes of patients in the NICU. In this episode of NANNcast, Jill sits down with NANN's President, Joan Rikli, to discuss data relating to racial and health disparity in the NICU, steps NANN is taking to address racial disparity, and how nurses can drive change in their NICU. Jill and Joan are also joined by Nicole Dixon, Nurse Manager at Atrium Health, for an open, candid conversation on Nicole's experience as an African-American NICU nurse. While we can't provide listeners with all the answers, NANNcast is proud to help get the conversation on racial and health inequality started with listeners, as we strive to help create better outcomes for our patients and families.

Kratom and CBD in Pregnancy: Potential Newborn Outcomes

The use of Kratom and CBD by expectant mothers is a continued subject of study as we seek to understand the effects that these substances may have on babies. Host Jill Beck is joined by Maureen Shogan, MN RNC, to discuss these substances in detail. Maureen is currently the Clinical Director for a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) project on developing Neonatal Abstinence curriculum for mobile devices. Listen along to familiarize yourself with Kratom and CBD, and how these substances may impact mothers and babies in your NICU or Mother Baby Unit.

Preterm Gut Health

Gut health is critical in early life as it assists with growth, neurodevelopment, and drives the immune system. Diving into the importance of gut health, host Jill Beck is joined by Katherine Gregory, PhD RN FAAN, who has devoted her research to understanding preterm gut health and the microbiome. Dr. Gregory started out as a staff nurse with a drive to develop early markers of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Her questions and persistence led her to mentorships, advanced schooling, and the opportunity to conduct vital research on the gut and microbiome. Listen along to hear more about Dr. Gregory's journey, research, and hope for creating a vital sign for the gut.

COVID-19 in the NICU: Impact on Shared Decision Making

In May of 2020, NANN released a joint position statement with the National Perinatal Association titled Mothers with COVID-19 and Their Newborn Infants. In this episode, Jill is joined by the author of the position statement, Tiffany Moore, PhD RN, to expand on the unique challenge of creating a culture of shared decision making between the mother and clinical team during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tiffany, whose research focuses on reducing chronic stress in mom and baby, will guide listeners through how to best support parents and babies during these stressful times.

Parental Uncertainty in the Time of COVID-19

The NICU can be a scary place for any parent, and the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing new levels of uncertainty when it comes to having an infant in the NICU. Research is recognizing that the fear, stress, and anxiety parents carry throughout their child's stay in the NICU can manifest itself into post-traumatic stress. Jill Beck is joined by Dr. Katie Malin, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children's Wisconsin who has focused her research on perinatal post-traumatic stress disorder and its relationship to uncertainty. Jill and Katie discuss how nurses can help identify and support parents experiencing uncertainty surrounding their ill infant, with the hope of creating better family outcomes.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Awareness

Advocating for patients, families, and fellow nurses is a vital part of the nursing role. Jill Beck is joined by Jennifer Canvasser, founder and director of the NEC Society, to discuss advocacy and awareness both inside and outside the NICU. It is the hope of this NANNcast episode to inspire nurses everywhere to not only advocate for Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) prevention and treatment, but for the general safety and health of the broader NICU community as well. 

Understanding Palliative Care

Jill Beck speaks with Dr. Christine A. Fortney, the Advances in Neonatal Care guest editor, and assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, to discuss the Journal's upcoming special series on palliative care. Often misunderstood by both health professionals and families, palliative care has become synonymous with end of life care – a limited definition that does not contain the full scope of palliative care. Dr. Fortney covers how to appropriately define palliative care, explains benefits of palliative care, and discusses the perspectives of both health professionals and parents when it comes to having patients in a palliative care program. 

The Healing Power of Music

What makes music therapy so vital in the NICU? This episode of NANNcast explores how to utilize music therapy in ways that are healing for both patients and families. Jill Beck sits down with Laura Cerulli, a music therapist out of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, to discuss the power of sound, voice, song and how our tiniest patients can benefit from music therapy.

Language Nutrition in the NICU

Positive sensory experiences are vital for promoting optimal neurodevelopmental outcomes. That's why Baby Bookworms, a NICU reading program that focuses on language nutrition, aims to provide positive experiences for NICU babies during the early, most delicate period of neurodevelopment. Sarah Bakke, BSN RNC-NIC, of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children joins Jill Beck to discuss the importance of language nutrition and how the Baby Bookworms program was implemented.

Your NICU is a Neuro NICU

Jill Beck is joined by Jennifer O'Malley, BSN RNC-NIC, of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. In NANNcast's first episode, Jill and Jennifer explore strategies for optimizing neurodevelopmental outcomes by treating every NICU as a Neuro NICU. Dive into how a strong neurodevelopmental program is essential for improving long term outcomes of NICU patients.

Find NANNcast episodes on the following podcast platforms: 

About NANNcast's Host 

Jill Beck, MSN RNC-NIC 

Jill Beck Headshot

Jill Beck has been a certified NICU nurse for 18 years and is currently a clinical staff nurse in a Level IV NICU at Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. There, she is also an ECMO specialist and a member of the NICU team in the Advanced Delivery Program. Jill loves research and QI, and her passion began at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's NICU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was a lead member of the Quality Improvement Committee. There, she worked on various QI initiatives across many disciplines and acted as a mentor for staff for their ongoing research. As a lead investigator on QI initiatives, Jill had the opportunity to share her results with fellow NICU nurses at the local, national, and international levels.

Jill Beck is a proud fellow of NANN's 2018 Emerging Leader Fellowship program, which has taught her invaluable lessons and given her the confidence to pursue the impossible. Through the fellowship, she developed the concept of NANNcast and now serves as the podcast's host. Jill aims for NANNcast to be a platform for sharing new innovations and hot topics in neonatology with the hope of creating better patient outcomes for tiny babies! 


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