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The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a 64-bed, private-room unit with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - the highest state designation - and a Level II Intermediate Care Unit. Located on the third floor of OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, our NICU has been caring for newborns since 1942.

Our full-time neonatologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists and consultants from multiple specialties deliver the most advanced care to premature and high-risk infants.

Approximately two-thirds of our patients are from the 24-county area surrounding Peoria. Specially trained NICU nurses and respiratory therapists transport our babies by ground ambulance or OSF Life Flight.


The NICU offers the following services:

Neonatology Service Report Cover 2022 Neonatology Care Report (PDF)
  • Bedside invasive and non-invasive monitoring
  • Blood gas analyzer and X-ray developer on unit
  • Care of all premature and high-risk infants
  • Continuing education for students, nurses and physicians
  • Conventional and high-frequency ventilation
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation  
  • Family-centered care, including a parent support group, a parent advocate, breastfeeding support and family lounge
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Services
  • Isolation facilities
  • Memorial services for families who have lost loved ones
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Registered dietitian/nutritionist with special education in neonatal nutrition
  • Respiratory therapists on unit at all times
  • Small Baby Unit
  • Social services for families
  • Surgery in multiple specialties, including cardiac
  • Transport of infants to, from or within Children's Hospital of Illinois

Vermont Oxford Network

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit participates in the Vermont Oxford Database Network. The goal of this organization is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of medical care for infants through a coordinated program of outcomes research, clinical trials and quality improvement projects. Through participation in multiple Vermont Oxford Collaborative Quality Improvement Projects over the last 20 years, the NICU has been able to achieve outstanding outcomes in all areas of neonatal care.

For more information, please visit

Patient Stories

joseph-penn-children-first.png Joseph Penn

Joseph made his debut, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces. He was 10 3/4 inches long. The NICU team from OSF Children's Hospital was in the operating room, waiting to care for Joseph upon delivery.

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sawyer-kaufman2.jpg Sawyer Kaufman

Born 16 weeks early, weighing only 1 pound, 5 ounces, Sawyer Kaufman battled a number of life-threatening health problems. But the Neonatology team at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois was with him every step of the way, delivering advanced, multidisciplinary care to save little Sawyer’s life.

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