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Updated NRP materials include 2 curriculum levels, 2 methods to deliver content

June 1, 2021

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) 8th edition uses new educational methodologies to better meet the needs of health care professionals caring for newborns at the time of delivery.

For pediatricians and other health care providers, the biggest changes to the 8th edition are two curriculum levels and two methods of delivering educational content, said Gary Weiner, M.D., FAAP, editor in chief of Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation, 8th edition. “This will make it easier for learners to master the cognitive, technical and behavioral skills that are most relevant to their practice.”

The 8th edition also includes a new NRP Learning Platform hosted by RQI Partners, a partnership between the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical.

Textbook updates

The Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation, 8th edition, includes 11 lessons and three supplemental lessons to enhance learning.

“Although the 8th edition textbook has been fully updated to reflect current science, it continues to emphasize the importance of preparation, effective positive pressure ventilation and teamwork,” Dr. Weiner said.

The materials incorporate evidence from the 2020 Neonatal Resuscitation guidelines, which stress the importance of improving positive pressure ventilation (PPV) through skill development and practice and ensuring effective PPV through individual and team training. (See what changed in the 2020 resuscitation guidelines at

Key points have been moved to the beginning of each lesson, making them easier to identify. Many of the lessons incorporate QR codes that can be scanned with a mobile device to view short videos that demonstrate key skills. Each lesson includes suggested quality improvement questions and metrics to identify areas for potential improvement.

Although not required as part of the 8th edition course, the supplemental lessons focus on using ergonomics and human factors to improve team performance (lesson 12), resuscitation outside the delivery room (lesson 13) and developing a resuscitation quality improvement program (lesson 14). All providers can enhance resuscitation knowledge and performance with these optional lessons.

Curriculum levels

The two curriculum levels, NRP Essentials and NRP Advanced, provide individualized content based on the provider’s role, access to personnel, and resources during newborn resuscitation. Organizations should decide who should be an Essentials provider or Advanced provider.

The NRP Essentials curriculum (lessons 1-4) is for those assigned responsibility for the newborn at birth when there are no apparent perinatal/neonatal risk factors and who will not participate in resuscitation beyond PPV. It includes skills through face-mask ventilation and laryngeal mask insertion.

The NRP Advanced curriculum (lessons 1-11) is for those who attend births and are responsible for anticipated resuscitation of the newborn with known risk factors and for those who participate in newborn resuscitation beyond PPV, including alternative airway placement, chest compressions, emergency vascular access and medication administration.

All NRP providers will complete a new online learning assessment, which replaces the NRP examination for lessons one through four. The interactive assessment uses artificial intelligence and adaptive learning technology to tailor the instruction to an individual’s knowledge and confidence.

New learning method

In addition to the traditional instructor-led course, the 8th edition also is delivered through Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) for NRP, a new self-directed, simulation-based option.

RQI for NRP offers the NRP Essentials course and uses low-dose, high-frequency quarterly learning and skill sessions to verify competence in PPV performance on a neonatal simulator. The program is available in hospitals that already use RQI solutions for life support education. NRP providers in settings where RQI simulation carts are available can access information about the appropriate approach to training at

Implementation deadline

NRP 8th edition materials must be implemented by Jan. 1, 2022. Instructors and providers may retain their current renewal date, but instructors should brief providers about the 8th edition changes.

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