Research Article| Volume 59, e77-e83, July 2021

Experiences of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurses as Mothers of Newborns in Neonatal Intensive Care Units: A Jordanian Qualitative Study

Published:March 02, 2021DOI:


      • NICU nurses with admitted NICU infants struggle as a result of their nurses-mothers’ dual role.
      • There are shared needs between mothers and nurse-mothers in relation to proximity and involvement in newborn care plan.
      • The family should be recognized as the cornerstone of the NICU health care team.



      Little research has explored the experiences and perspectives of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses who have also experienced being NICU parents. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of these nurses who have or have ever had an infant hospitalized in a NICU.

      Design and methods

      A qualitative descriptive design using semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 9 registered Jordanian NICU nurses who have or have had a child admitted to a NICU.


      Findings suggest an oscillation between the role of being a nurse and the role of being a mother. The nurses' background clinical experience has an impact on how they provided and received care and on the decisions they made regarding their infants' care plans. Nurses reported fears of the “recommended patient syndrome” and tried to avoid being labeled as “nagging” by other healthcare providers.


      Study findings shed light on the needs of NICU nurses with NICU admitted infants and the struggle faced by nurses-mothers as a result of their dual role, and highlights the importance of the family centered developmental care approach that recognizes the family as the cornerstone of the NICU health care team.

      Practice implications

      Findings highlight issues related to the shared needs between mothers and nurse-mothers in relation to proximity and involvement in newborn care plan.


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