Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Summer 5-10-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Susan Breslin


Sound levels in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) consistently exceed the 45-decibel limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Excessive noise has been shown to cause detrimental short- and long-term effects on premature infants. The cost of a NICU stay in 2008 averaged $3500/ day with some exceeding $1 million at discharge (Muraskas & Parsi, 2008). Post-discharge, the cost of care for these children can be 7 times more than a term infant in the first year (Boss & Hobbs, 2013). Reducing the length of stay and long-term detrimental effects of a NICU stay will benefit organizations and the overall cost to society. This project tested the effectiveness on noise levels by using a free decibel phone application provided to staff within an open design NICU. Conclusion: Overall, mean decibel levels decreased after intervention, but more research is needed to prove if the decrease is not only significant, but also substantive.


File Upload Confirmation