What is the Neonatal Resuscitation Program?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2019
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The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) is a training course providing an overview of the principles of resuscitation in newborns. It is currently overseen by the American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional organization in the United States dedicated to improving the quality and consistency of care in the pediatrics community, covering children from birth to adolescence. People who take the Neonatal Resuscitation Program receive certifications, but are not necessarily fully qualified, as resuscitation skills are complex and require more training than a single course can provide. Individual fitness to perform and oversee resuscitation must be determined by supervisors.

In the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, people work through nine course modules with the assistance of a text. These modules cover everything from how to secure an infant airway to ethical concerns involved with end of life care in newborns. In addition, people cycle through five skills stations to practice hands-on skills, using dummies and other equipment to get familiar with the activities involved in neonatal resuscitation. Becoming comfortable with performing resuscitation can allow people to respond more quickly when a baby's life is on the line.


There are a number of concerns involved in working with infants who need resuscitation, especially in the case of preterm babies. Babies born before they are fully developed may need special care, as their lungs and hearts may not be able to function fully in the outside world. Neonatal resuscitation training includes assessing newborns to determine their medical needs and providing prompt interventions to stabilize newborns so they can receive further treatment.

Obstetricians, midwives, paramedics, labor and delivery nurses, and other medical personnel who may be around newborns can choose to take the Neonatal Resuscitation Program. In some cases, it is required by an employer to make sure everyone has received the same basic level of training. Having adequate training with a focus on the unique needs of newborns is important for people who need to react quickly in emergencies, whether people are handling a baby injured in a car accident or treating a woman and her child during premature labor.

People can become instructors in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program by taking a training course aimed at instructors. This course will familiarize participants with the training materials, methods, and medical standards of care recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Once people have completed their certification, it is necessary to periodically renew to demonstrate continued competence in neonatal resuscitation. If people allow their certifications to lapse, they may be required to take the Neonatal Resuscitation Program again to become providers.



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