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Systematic Holistic Examination of the Newborn (SHEN)

Module code MWY 3130 Level 6 (30 credits)
MWY 4130 Level 7 (30 credits)
Start 16th January 2024
Duration 12 days
Attendance Part-time via on-campus learning
Fees See the Fees and funding below
Course leader Stephanie Michaelides


Develop specialist knowledge and advanced skills for examining neonates from birth to six weeks of age in this short course for nurses, health visitors and midwives at any stage in their career.

Specifically designed for a wide range of midwives, health visitors and neonatal professionals who work with newborns who on completion of this module will be equipped with the advanced knowledge and skills to undertake the examination of the neonate from birth to six weeks of age.

The module is guided by experienced practitioners and Senior Lecturer Stephanie Michaelides. Through the combination of theory and practice-based learning and supported clinical experience, the student will explore key factors in the assessment of a newborn, such as the auscultation of chest sounds, neurological reflexes and the education of the mother and relevant others. It will also provide opportunities to reflect on the practitioners current role and the ways in which it can be developed further as a highly-skilled leader in neonatal care.

The module is provided over 12 study days enabling the student to maintain her/his employment whilst learning. This module will equip the student with the crucial theories and techniques to identify early abnormalities and/or potential problems, including how to inform and prepare the newborn, parents and related professionals for the required care.

Armed with these valuable skills the practitioner will be able to enhance his/her practice and career prospects across a wide range of new developments within the NHS. This will provide 30 credits at Level 6 or 7.

Course content

This module will enhance your ability to administer a thorough physical examination of a newborn baby by exploring such topics as:

  • Embryology and fetal life, transitional events during labour and birth
  • Maternal medical, obstetric and social history and relevance to the neonate
  • Law and the neonate: NMC Standards; relevant legal frameworks
  • Newborn examinations and assessments
  • Applied physiology: the morphological system, respiratory system; cardiovascular system; gastrointestinal system; genital urinary system; neurological system; haematological system; skeletal system; integumentary system; immunological system; reproductive system and gender allocation
  • Protecting, caring for and feeding the newborn: thermoregulation; glucose homeostasis and metabolism; recognition and management of pain in the newborn
  • The newborn with complex or additional needs: birth injuries; the loss of a ‘perfect baby’; giving bad news; recognition of the effects of substance abuse on the fetus and neonate; genetic and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Clinical leadership in action:planning and delivering safe and effective care; decision-making and clinical judgement development; resources, referral and working inter-professionally; formulation of a dynamic plan of care from birth to the continuum

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching will have a problem orientated focus through guided study and case scenarios in order to develop and reinforce lifelong learning perspectives for clinical skills. This will be done through guided on line learning supported by narrated presentations and online demonstration videos for the student to access at any time. Students will attend study days to access face to face clinical assessment skill demonstrations and supervision from teachers. Students will then be given the opportunity to develop these learnt assessment skills in their own practice setting but application of skills will not be assessed

Study days will give the opportunity for development, application and reflection of clinical examination skills to aid with diagnosis and plan care/ referral.


You will be assessed through:

  • Written essay
  • Objective Structural Clinical Assessment (OSCA)
  • Record of a minimum of 30 SHEN examinations

How to apply

This programme is relevant to registered midwives, health visitors and neonatal nurses who are able to provide evidence of the following:

  • You must be currently working in the clinical area
  • You must also provide evidence of your ability to study at Level 6

A visit to your working environment to assess your facilitation in practice may be required.

Please visit our CPD health practitioner webpage to download an application form and for more information on the application process.

Fees and funding

The fees* below refer to the 2023/24 academic year unless otherwise stated are:

Level 6 and Level 7:

Per credit: £63
30 credits: £1,890

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

There are several funding options available:

  • Receiving course fees via CPD contracts between NHS trusts and Middlesex University
  • Paying your own fees
  • Sponsorship by your employer (but not under a CPD contract).

For more information for any of these options, including fee rates for self-funding/employer-sponsored students, please visit our dedicated funding page.

Further Information

If you require further information on this module, please contact:

Stephanie Michaelides
Senior Lecturer - Department of Nursing and Midwifery

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