Nutritional Care in the NICU: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities

Monday, October 19
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM (Central Time)
CE: 1.0
Level 2 (intermediate knowledge/experience)
Activity Code: 157634

The NICU requires a specialized, very high level of clinical expertise. The premature infants’ survival and ability to thrive (develop the brain and other major organs) depends upon carefully crafted nutritional prescriptions congruent with complex medical issues. Medical issues are so critical (life and death) that even the best plans may go amiss. Many competent RDs who are experts in the nutritional care of newborns in intensive care still lack critical education and training in care of premature infants and other critically ill newborns. The need for education/training in this area is one of the most important in dietetics, and, the least available. Presenters will share the current state of the art solutions to this significant training gap. They will also share newer research that documents the inability to meet prescribed energy and protein intakes in tiny premature infants. A new, innovative point of care tool (cloud technology) optimizes parenteral/enteral nutrition orders and translates it into clinical applications. Presenters will also discuss nutritional deficiencies, expert recommendations, challenges and tools for the nutritional care of the premature infant with case studies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the current ‘state of the art’/innovative approaches to the education of RDs who are/want to work in a NICU with premature infants.
  • Identify the common nutrient deficiencies, medical/nutrition challenges and appropriate tools for the nutrition assessment/care of the premature infant.
  • Discuss innovative ‘point of care’ technology that optimizes nutrition prescriptions and translates them into clinical care of the preterm infant.

Performance Indicators:

  • 10.1.1 Identifies and selects valid and reliable
    screening tool(s) to obtain and verify relevant data
    in support of nutrition assessment.
  • 10.2.1 Identifies and selects valid and reliable tools
    to conduct a comprehensive nutrition assessment.
  • 2.2.1 Identifies the need for and negotiates
    common ground with customers, interprofessional
    team members and other stakeholders.


  • Nutritional Care in the NICU: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities -

    Jessica Thornton, RDN, LDN

    RB Health/Mead Johnson Nutrition

  • Speaker(s)

  • Nutritional Care in the NICU: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities -

    Deborah Abel, PhD, RDN, LDN

    Director, Graduate Certificate in Pediatric Nutrition, and Associate Teaching Professor

    Florida International University

  • Nutritional Care in the NICU: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities -

    Wendy Cruse, M.M.Sc., RDN, CD, CSPCC, CLS

    Milk Lab Clinical Program Manager
    NICU Dietitian Senior

    Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health