i 10.00 Hours

Course Overview

More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. according to 2016 data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This correlates to just under 1 in every 10 babies born in the U.S. Factors contributing to the increased survival of premature infants include prenatal corticosteroid therapy and early surfactant therapy to reduce the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome. Nutrition therapy plays a vital role in minimizing morbidity and mortality and optimizing growth and development.

The goal of this course is to provide registered dietitian nutritionists in the NICU with increased skill level, competence, and confidence using evidence-based practice guidelines that demonstrate the application of cutting-edge methods for providing optimal nutrition support.

About the Course Author

Carrie Finch, MS, RDN, CSP, has 20 years of experience as a neonatal dietitian and currently works in the NICU at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Carrie is a published author in peer-reviewed publications and previously coordinated an Advanced Practice Residency program training dietitians across the United States in nutritional care for the high-risk infant.

Carrie Finch, MS, RDN, CSP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.

Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDCES, FAND is a SME Writer focused on topics related to food, nutrition & dietetics for Relias. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has been a certified diabetes educator since 2003. Ms. Stefanski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and a master's degree in Adult Education with a special focus on distance learning. She was an adjunct instructor in the Stabler Department of Nursing at York College of Pennsylvania for 13 years. Stefanski is the owner of Stefanski Nutrition Services where she specializes in pediatric nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues and sports nutrition. Stefanski serves as national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDCES, FAND has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.

Patti Perks, MS, RDN, CNSC has over 15 years experience in neonatal nutrition support in the NICU at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville, VA. She is involved in numerous quality improvement initiatives, and provides nutrition education to staff and students.  She is a founding board member of the Virginia Neonatal Nutrition Association, a nonprofit that provides educational and networking opportunities for healthcare providers.

Patti Perks MS, RDN, CNSC has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.

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Accreditation Information

Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

  • Commission on Dietetic Registration


    As a Jointly Accredited organization, Relias LLC is accredited to offer dietetic continuing education by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The CDR is an associate member of Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education.

  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition


    Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition (CEBroker Provider #50-290)

    This course is approved for 10.0 contact hours.

Course Details
  • Course Code:

  • Hours:

  • Type:

    Online Course
  • Release Date:

  • Expiration Date:

  • Learning Objectives:

    Describe the impact that the registered dietitian can have on optimizing nutritional delivery and outcome measurements in the NICU.; Describe the indications for parenteral nutrition in the NICU and evidence-based recommendations for parenteral and enteral nutrition.; Describe the various enteral formulas used in the NICU, the delivery methods, and the indications for each option.; Develop the skills to document a comprehensive nutrition history in the NICU.; Discuss guidelines for safe handling of breast milk and infant formula in the NICU.; Evaluate the energy, fluid, macronutrient, and micronutrient needs of full-term and premature infants, and the risk factors for nutrient deficiencies.; Explain at least four health benefits and unique nutritional qualities of human milk.; Identify appropriate oral feeding guidelines and at least three signs and symptoms of feeding intolerance.; Identify common inborn errors of metabolism and treatment strategies.; Identify nutrient intake and growth changes to evaluate adequacy of nutrition provided.; Identify the nutrition-related challenges that a former premature infant may experience after discharge from the NICU.; Identify the parameters and terminology designating early birth and most appropriate growth chart information to plot an infant’s anthropometric measurements.; Recognize the impact of various medical and surgical factors on the nutritional status of an infant.
  • Outline:

    Section 1: Introduction
    About This Course
    Learning Objectives
    Section 2: Nutrition Evaluation of the Preterm Infant
    Newborn Classification
    Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment
    Anthropometric Assessment Using Growth Charts
    Anthropometric and Body Composition Measurements
    Newborn Classification
    Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment
    Biochemical Assessment
    Electrolyte Status
    Markers of Protein Status
    Bone Mineral Status
    Vitamin and Trace Element Status
    Section 3: Monitoring Infant Nutrition Status
    Monitoring Growth
    Neonatal Malnutrition
    Dietary Intake Assessment
    Energy and Nutrient Needs
    Section 4: Fluid, Electrolytes, and Parenteral Nutrition
    Fluid Balance
    Fluid Requirements
    Parenteral Nutrition
    Vitamins, Minerals, and Trace Elements
    PN Additives: Heparin, Carnitine, and Cysteine
    Access for Administering Parenteral Nutrition
    Cycling PN in Infants
    Complications of PN
    Emerging Issues
    Section 5: Enteral Nutrition and Supplements
    Enteral Nutrition
    Enteral Feeding Routes
    Feeding Selection
    Breast Milk or Human Milk
    Human Milk Fortifiers
    Premature Formula
    Preterm Discharge Formulas
    DHA and ARA Fortification
    Specialized Formulas
    Special Considerations
    Storage and Handling of Infant Feedings
    Micronutrient Supplementation
    Oral Feeding
    Section 6: Common Neonatal Diagnoses and Implications for Nutritional Status
    Chronic Lung Disease or Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
    Metabolic Bone Disease, also known as Osteopenia of Prematurity
    Biochemical Assessment with MBD
    Anemia of Prematurity
    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
    Gastrointestinal Disease
    Congenital GI Malformations
    Acquired GI Disease
    Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS)
    Seizure Disorders
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Inborn Errors of Metabolism
    Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
    Congenital Heart Disease
    Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
    Epidermolysis Bullosa and Aplasia Cutis Congenita
    Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
    Tracheoesophageal Fistulas
    Section 7: Discharge Nutrition for the High-Risk Infant
    Discharge Nutrition
    Discharge Readiness/Discharge Planning
    Promote Human Milk Feeding
    Minimize Nutrient Deficits
    Avoid Over-Nourishing
    Discharge Nutrition Plan
    Choosing What to Feed at Home
    Discharge Collaboration
    Sample Discharge Summary Form
    Section 8: Conclusion
    Course Contributors
  • Target Audience:

    The target audience for this course is: Level III level Dietitians; in the following settings: Acute Care Facility.
  • Course Delivery Method and Format:

    Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
    Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
    If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
    All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
    Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
    All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
    To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
  • Accommodations:

    If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.
  • Disclosures:

    Expert Reviewers, Instructors, and Staff Writers disclosures will be listed above after the individuals' biographical paragraph. All other members involved within the planning of this educational activity have declared no conflict of interest exists when planning and developing this course.