Kent State Nursing Student Completes United States Institute for Kangaroo Care Certification Course
Angela Anikienko, a Kent State University junior nursing student from LaGrange, Ohio, completed the United States Institute for Kangaroo Care’s® certification course at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital in June. Anikienko, who received a sponsorship from the institute to attend the course, was one of only three Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students in the nation to earn the certification.
Kangaroo Care, the practice of holding a diaper-clad infant bare-chest to bare-chest for several hours each day, helps newborn babies regulate their body temperature, heart rate and respiratory function while building a strong bond with their parents. Kangaroo Care is shown to be effective for babies at all stages of newborn development, but its benefits are particularly powerful for pre-term babies.
Anikienko, who decided on a career in nursing in high school, wanted to become a Certified Kangaroo Caregiver because it would provide her with access to valuable information and tools she could use for research.
“Through the Honors College at Kent State, and with the help of my mentor, Lory Lewis, I am researching the barriers, as well as the attitudes and perceptions, of Kangaroo Care in neonatal nurses and parents,” Anikienko says. “Someday, I want to work as a neonatal nurse practitioner and provide infants and their families with the best possible care.”
Lewis, Ph.D., APRN, NNP-BC, is an assistant professor at Kent State College of Nursing.
“This was a great opportunity for Angela,” Lewis says. “The course was very beneficial to her learning about barriers to performing Kangaroo Care in a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, her research area of interest.”
The United States Institute for Kangaroo Care is an Ohio nonprofit educational organization that has offered the certification course annually for 12 years. Designed for health professionals who work with mothers and babies at all stages of pregnancy, attendees receive the education needed to pass the International Board of Kangaroo Care Education's certification exam by participating in 19 hours of lectures, presentations and skills sessions. The certification is valid for two years.