Needs of Labor and Delivery Nurses Caring for Women Undergoing Pregnancy Termination


  • The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.



To explore the psychosocial, educational, and administrative support needs of labor and delivery (L&D) nurses who care for women undergoing pregnancy termination.


A qualitative, descriptive design.


This study was conducted on a L&D unit at a large, university-affiliated hospital in Quebec, Canada.


A convenience sample of 10 L&D nurses participated in this study. Ages of participants ranged from 25 to 55 years, and experience on the unit ranged from 1 to 30 years.


One-time, face-to-face interviews were conducted with each participant. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using inductive content analysis.


Participants valued interpersonal support from nurse colleagues and guidance from experienced nurses in managing the emotional aspect of this care. They raised concerns about the effect of nursing workload and patient-to-nurse ratios on patient care. Nurses noted a desire for knowledge and skill-building through access to evidence-based literature, continuing education sessions, and workshops. They also expressed a need for more information regarding the genetic counseling process and community resources available to women undergoing pregnancy termination.


Ensuring continuity of care through knowledge sharing related to genetic counseling and community resources creates the context for holistic patient care. Increased attention to the particular needs of L&D nurses providing care to women undergoing termination may enhance the quality and safety of care for this unique population.