at your own pace

NASCEND Learn enables you to take courses on your own schedule to improve care for substance exposed infants and their families.


NASCEND has developed a comprehensive online curriculum to educate healthcare professionals on the growing epidemic of substance use disorder (SUD) and its impact from pregnancy to pediatrics on the mom, the infant and the family.

Our top-quality training helps healthcare providers treat substance exposed infants more effectively and efficiently, leading to better outcomes including an improved experience for families; higher care provider satisfaction; and significant cost savings for the healthcare system.

Explore Outcomes

What's included

Each course in the curriculum will feature both didactic & experiential learning, including:

  • Video presentation by an expert on the topic
  • Quiz on the video content to ensure comprehension & retention of the material
  • Supplemental materials & exercises to provide additional context & an interactive experience
  • Provider handouts for reference and for use with families

Continuing Education

Each NASCEND Learn course provides one contact hour for ongoing professional certification. Whether you are a nurse, nurse practitioner, physician or a dietitian, NASCEND Learn provides third-party credentialing for continuing education credits. Speech and occupational therapists, social workers and other professionals may seek continuing education from their respective governing body using documentation provided upon course completion. Read more.


Our growing list of courses covers the following topics:

  • Recognize addiction as a disease & understand its impact
  • Assess the similarities between addiction & other common chronic diseases
  • Understand the prevalence of opioid use & abuse in the U.S.
  • Discover the neurochemical mechanism of addiction via the dopamine reward system
  • Discuss addiction & pregnancy
  • Describe the effects of maternal drug use on the fetus & the newborn
  • What you should know about stigma
  • What stigma feels like for those with SUD
  • How you can avoid perpetuating stigma
  • Understand the basic pharmacology of:
    • Opioids
    • Antidepressants
    • Marijuana
    • Stimulants
  • Understand the role of dopamine & oxytocin
  • Distinguish between bonding & attachment
  • Understand difficulties for mothers with SUD
  • Steps you can take to help parents
  • Review the pathogenesis of substance exposed infants (SEI)
  • Discuss the presentation of SEI
  • Describe substance-specific symptom profiles, including the onset & duration of symptoms
  • Define the factors that affect development of SEI
  • Differentiate similar diagnoses often mistaken for SEI
  • Why treatment is necessary
  • Enhance known techniques for providing comfort first
  • Explore innovative comfort first techniques
  • Music’s role in:
    • Neuroprotection
    • Improved developmental skills
    • Auditory & language development
  • Benefit of lullabies
  • Using transition songs
  • The iso-principle
  • Music for best outcomes
  • Music strategies for parents
  • How to improve parent-infant bonding
  • Recognize common signs of overstimulation
  • Using music as a comfort measure
  • Pairing music with tactile stimulation
  • Establishing a developmentally appropriate sound environment at home
  • Strategies for successful feeding
  • Behavioral functions necessary for feeding
  • How to promote organization in feeding
  • The anatomy of feeding
  • Signs of aspiration
  • Helping families understand the mechanisms of feeding
  • State & position for safe feeing
  • Handling misinformation
  • Tips for decreasing GI dysfunction
  • Optimal nutrition for the first 1,000 days of life
  • The impact of in-utero substance exposure on growth & nutritional outcomes
  • Healthy growth in infants
  • Physiological stability for feeding & how it is impacted in substance exposed infants
  • Distress & feeding cues
  • How to minimize growth faltering
  • Optimal formula attributes
  • Nutrition recommendations for improving outcomes
  • Breastfeeding statistics in the U.S.
  • Benefits of breastfeeding/expressed breast milk
  • Barriers to successful & sustained breastfeeding
  • Recommendations for breastfeeding with substance use disorder
  • Recommendations for breastfeeding with other legal & illicit substances
  • Effects of legal substances on breastfeeding
  • Hepatitis C & breastfeeding
  • Supporting the substance-affected mother-baby dyad
  • Substance use disorder as a medical problem
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Health concerns for substance exposed infants
  • Outpatient nutrition
  • Perinatal hepatitis C exposure
  • Family screening
  • Effects of in-utero substance exposure on infants’ motor, cognitive, behavioral & educational development
  • Vision complications
  • Defining trauma & PTSD
  • Recognizing trauma
  • The events, experiences & effects of trauma
  • ACE scores & their impact
  • Defining trauma-informed care
  • Implementing trauma-informed care in your organization
  • Providing excellent trauma-informed care

Who should use NASCEND Learn

  • Nursing staff – nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse managers/directors, nurse educators
  • Physicians – neonatologists, pediatricians, obstetricians, addiction specialists
  • Registered dietitians
  • Other providers – speech therapists, music therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, addiction support staff
  • Other community resources – Child Protective Services staff


($30 per CEU)