While rounding with our Intermediate Care Nursery attending:
Which babies belong at which of our 3 nurseries (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Intermediate Care Nursery, Newborn Nursery)?
Generally, babies less than 34 weeks gestation go to the intensive care unit (Level III).
Between 34-37 weeks babies will go to a Level II feeder and grower unit, some CPAP may be allowed depending on the institution guidelines. Healthy late preterm babies may go to a Level I nursery at some institutions.
Healthy babies will go to a Level I unit. Some institutions may allow babies requiring a little oxygen to transition in a Level I unit.
Basically, each institution will have slightly different guidelines and levels of comfort. Assess the unit's ability to handle your patient and act accordingly.
1. Levels of Neonatal Care: PEDIATRICS Vol. 114 No. 5 November 2004, pp. 1341-1347 (doi:10.1542/10.1542/peds.2004-1697)
Abbreviations: NICU, ICN, NBN, preemie