Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Nicole Beckmann


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Background: Health equity principles demand that patients of color have access to racially and ethnically appropriate skin and hair care products. People of color are disproportionately affected by atopic dermatitis. Skin care during infancy may have life-long implications, as immature skin barrier function increases the risk of cutaneous allergen sensitization. Skin maintenance can be directly supported through routine skin emollients applications in infancy, decreasing the probability for the later development of atopic dermatitis. Patients with textured hair require daily applications scalp and hair oil to prevent hair breakage and scalp dermatitis conditions. Products made for hospital use are often hypoallergenic and chlorohexidine gluconate compatible but are not often appropriate for patients of color.

Purpose: Improve outcomes for hospitalized infants of color and support the nurse-patient relationship, with a nurse-driven evidence-based care guideline for healthy skin maintenance, by supporting appropriate product application of racially and ethnically skin and hair care products.

Methods: A nursing care guideline was created and disseminated. Information on common skin and scalp conditions, along with historical and current ethnical significance of textured hair, were presented to nursing staff at a one-hour nursing continuing education session. Nursing surveys were requested at two junctures, before and after the education. Bedside audits were completed to ensure the new products were being utilized. The skin integrity of infants, and hospital-acquired infections possibly related to new product use, were monitored through previously well-established pathways.

Results: Nursing surveys demonstrated they felt surer on how to care for textured hair, felt the products optimized their skin maintenance efforts, and that families of color approved of the new products. The new topical oils were, stored on the unit, were readily adopted by the ICC nursing staff. Products stored in the hospital’s central storeroom were far less likely to be noted at the bedside. Healthy hair, scalp, and skin maintenance were achieved, and no dermatitis conditions or hospital- acquired infections occurred in associated with the new products.

Available for download on Saturday, July 27, 2024