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The Newborn Infant Physical Examination: Incorporating the theory into midwifery education

02 September 2017
Volume 25 · Issue 9



The Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) can be performed by any qualified health professional, although changes to the roles of health professionals has led to an increase in midwives undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) modules, in order to embrace the NIPE role.


The curriculum planning team at the University of Manchester recognised the diverse structures of CPD modules throughout the UK and sought to incorporate the theoretical component of NIPE training into pre-registration midwifery education.


The team consulted with local and national stakeholders to assess the need for NIPE education, and the possible challenges.


Evaluations from the first cohort of students have been positive, especially in relation to increased employability.


Including the theory of the NIPE into pre-registration midwifery education has been successful, although support to develop the clinical elements of the NIPE is still needed.

The Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) can be performed by any health professional deemed suitably qualified (Public Health England, 2016). Health professionals must, however, be educated, clinically competent and remain updated in this procedure. Following validation with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC), the University of Manchester has integrated the theoretical component of the NIPE into the pre-registration education of student midwives. This article examines this experience, in order to offer a working exemplar of this process for other institutions considering this change.

The NIPE is an established and integral element of child health surveillance in the UK, and is based on standards set by the UK National Screening Committee (Public Health England, 2016). The key aim of the NIPE is to identify and refer all babies born with congenital abnormalities of the heart, hips, eyes or testes, where these are detectable, within 72 hours of birth (Public Health England, 2016)

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