Neonatal nurses share learning

November 1, 2020

The neonatal nurses’ college Aotearoa (NNCA) ran a day of workshops in October for nurse practitioners and those on the pathway, nurse managers, leaders and those who collect the data for the Australia and New Zealand neonatal network (ANZNN).

Next year, NNCA will add an educators’ forum, as these national networking events are great for shared learning.

The workshop, held a day before the NNCA symposium Go with the flo – challenges and changes in neonatal nursing today in Christchurch, was the first opportunity for many to come together since COVID-19 arrived.


Neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis spoke about the importance of a consistent dyadic (pair) relationship – connection with the one important person – for infant brain development, reminding us that the first 1000 days set in place the foundations of healthy brain growth and relationship development for a lifetime.

University of Auckland psychology professor Nathan Consedine talked about sustaining compassion in health care, and the contribution of working environments to practitioners’ compassion “fatigue”.


Counsellor and former addict Peter Thorburn shared valuable insights on methamphetamine use in Aotearoa and what might alert a nurse or midwife to methamphetamine use within a family they’re working with.

Other topics included how human milk banks kept supplies to infants needing support during the COVID-19 lockdown.