Date of Submission



There have been many reports indicating that if the design of Neonatal Intensive Care Units provides neonates with a more developmentally appropriate environment during the period of their admission, there would be significant neurodevelopmental benefits. To create such an environment, Neonatal Intensive Care floor plans have been modified from open plan to a single family room or larger rooms where 2-6 neonates are accommodated. Single family room design enables staff to adapt the physical environment (e.g. light, noise) to meet each neonate’s gestational age and sleep/wake cycle requirements. However, previous researchers have suggested that changing room design from an open plan to a single family room increased staff walking distance, workload and staffing requirements. Transitioning staff to a new design also requires changes in workflow and nursing practices. In 2012, the Canberra Neonatal Intensive Care Unit transitioned from open plan to two cot design. The two focuses of this project were to find solutions to facilitate the change of room design and to add to current knowledge on facilitating staff transition to, and the effect on staff of, the two cot Neonatal Intensive Care Unit design.


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


250 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Health Sciences