Promoting organization and delivering developmentally supportive care leads to improved outcomes for infants and their families. Critical care nurses must function as catalysts to expand the thinking of caregivers from a dimension consisting primarily of physiology to one that embraces the emotional and cognitive growth and well-being of the patient, the patient's family, and staff members. For critically ill infants, developmentally supportive care that is relationship based and that promotes the balance of organized neurobehavioral and physiological function is an avenue to achieve that end. Beneficial or adverse outcomes of nursing care used during this critical period can persist long after an infant is discharged from the intensive care setting.

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