Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Judith Shaw

Second Advisor

Susan Kasser

Third Advisor

Michelle Shepard


Opioid, pregnant, plan of care, development, quality improvement


PURPOSE: The purpose of this quality improvement needs assessment was to evaluate the implementation of the Vermont Newborn Plan of Safe Care (VNPSC) since its introduction 17 months ago. These plans were created in response to federal mandates to create plans that address the needs of infants affected by substance exposure during pregnancy. A secondary goal of the study was to identify areas for improvement of its implementation by nursing staff.

METHODS: This study was conducted using a mixed-methods, cross sectional survey design. Data collection took place over a 3-week period and included 12 Vermont hospitals. Analysis was completed using SPSS, Excel, and Lime Survey software packages.

RESULTS: 10 out of 12 hospitals participated in the survey and 62% of participants were registered nurses who do not hold a management position. A majority of participants responded that they believed more training would be helpful, and that they experienced confusion and difficulty when completing the plan. Respondents also found it to be too time consuming to complete the plan when a social worker or case manager was not available to help.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that implementation of the VNPSC would benefit from a standardized training procedure for all professionals involved in creating these plans. It also indicates that the majority of nurses who write plans for safe care would benefit from being able to consult with someone who is fully trained on the process. Future research on the effectiveness of VNPSC implementation should include a broader variety of healthcare professionals in the sample, with a focus on social workers and case managers, in addition to nursing staff.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.