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The Neonatal Nurses Association was established over 40 years ago in 1977 by Beryl Chadney, a senior nurse at the Department of Health. She selected a small group of neonatal nurses from across the country, to address the inadequacies within neonatal nursing, perceived to be a contributor to a higher than average perinatal mortality rate in the UK, in comparison to other European countries.
One factor identified as a probable cause was the poor communication between specialised units to promote and share emerging developments in a specialty industry that was very much in its infancy. A national conference organised for the following year was overwhelmingly subscribed and neonatal nurses demanded more interaction amongst themselves and specialist education. The purpose of the Neonatal Nurses Association has remained unchanged since then; a national organisation representing neonatal nurses, steered by neonatal nurses to promote neonatal nursing for the benefit of sick newborns and their families throughout the country.