Leanne Nantais-Smith, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, FAANP

Leanne Nantais-Smith, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, FAANP

Associate Professor (Clinical), Director of Advanced Practice and Graduate Certificate Programs and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Specialty Coordinator

240 Cohn, 5557 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202

Office hours

By appointment

Research profile

Leanne Nantais-Smith, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, FAANP

Bio Sketch

Dr. Nantais-Smith has extensive experience as a neonatal nurse practitioner and has focused her research on the identification of noninvasive biomarkers of necrotizing enterocolitis in extremely preterm infants. She has served as a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners Task Force for the 2008 and 2014 published national Education Standards and Curriculum Guidelines for NNP Education. She has also co-authored articles on NNP workforce shortage issues, NICU case reports and case-based education, a continuing education NICU module, and parent decision-making with extremely preterm infants. She is currently a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Council (NANNP) and a NANNP liaison to the LACE Network.


  • PhD, Wayne State University
  • MSN, Wayne State University
  • BSN, Michigan State University

Research Interests

  • Noninvasive NEC biomarkers

DNP project planning:

  • Experienced DNP project chair
  • Project proposal development

Project types:

  • Quality improvement
  • Program evaluation

Theoretical frameworks:

  • Health Literate Care Model
  • Kolkcaba Theory of Comfort
  • Watson's Caring Theory


  • PDSA
  • PDCA
  • Lewin's Change Model
  • Logic Model
  • Health Literate Care Model


  • SMART Objectives

Writing/editing/manuscript preparation:

  • Experienced chair and reader

Clinical Area(s) of Expertise

  • Development of NNP education standards and curriculum guidelines
  • NNP clinical specialty education
  • NNP physiology and pathophysiology
  • Scope of practice
  • LACE

Selected publications

Publications (*data based; †with student)


  • Nantais-Smith, L.M. & Herrington, C.J. (2016). Chapter 4: "Assessing Growth Parameters in the Newborn: Identifying Abnormal Findings." In Neonatal Advanced Practice Nursing: A Case-Based Learning Approach. Springer Publishing Company: New York

Journal articles:

  • Herrington, C.J. & Nantais-Smith, L.M. (2016).  "Noninvasive ventilation in the preterm infant." CNE Now! National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Chicago, IL.

Data based:

  • Nantais-Smith, L. & Kadrofske, M. (2015). "Non-Invasive Biomarkers of NEC." Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 29(1), January-March.
  • Freed, G.L., Dunham, K.M., Martyn, K., Nantais-Smith, L., Moran, L.M., & Spera, L. (2015). "Capacity of, and Demand for, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Educational Programs: A missing piece of the workforce puzzle." Journal of Professional Nursing, 31(4), July-August.
  • Kavanaugh, K., Nantais-Smith, L., Savage, T., Schim, S.M., & Natarajan, G. (2014). "Extended Family Support for Parents Faced with Life Support Decisions for Extremely Premature Infants." Neonatal Network, 33(5), September/October 2014. Springer Publishing Company,
    Task Force. Contributing Author. (2014, February). Education Standards and Curriculum Guidelines. National Association of Nurses (NANN); Glenview, Illinois.
  • Freed, G.L., Dunham, K.M., Martyn, K., Nantais-Smith, L., Moran, L.M., & Spera, L. (2013). "Neonatal Nurse Practitioners: Influence on Career Choice." Journal of Nurse Practitioners, 9(2), 82-86.
  • Ennis, B. & Nantais-Smith, L. (2010). "Visual Diagnosis: Lower Lumbosacral Cutaneous Lesion in a Newborn." NeoReviews, January 2010; 11:e44.

Articles in collaboration with students:

  • Ohns M.J., Oliver-McNeil, S., Nantais-Smith, L. M., & George, N. (2015). "Nonurgent use of the emergency department by pediatric patients: A theory-guided approach for primary and acute care pediatric nurse practitioners." Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 30(4), 339-346. 

Honors and Awards

  • 2022-2023 Harriet H. Werley Faculty Research Award: "Urine Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Protein as a Noninvasive Biomarker to Diagnose and Determine Recovery from Necrotizing Enterocolitis."
  • Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2022
  • 2012-2015 Ada Jacox Research Award and College of Nursing Dean’s Research Award: "Noninvasive Biomarkers of Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A Pilot Study."
  • WSU President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012

Current Research

  • Noninvasive NEC biomarkers (diagnosis and recovery)

Courses taught by Leanne Nantais-Smith, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, FAANP

Fall Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

← Return to listing