Transitioning From Traditional Maternity Nursing to Family-Centered Maternity Nursing


Poster Presentation


Current U.S. perinatal statistics indicate that maternity care continues to need improvement. Guided by the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework, we hypothesized that no practice change would occur unless nurses understand and appreciate the relevance of evidence-based maternity care. A within design was used to address the clinical question, In the transition to Family-Centered Nursing Care from traditional maternity care, what is the effect of an educational intervention on the staff nurse's knowledge of evidence-based Family-Centered Nursing Care as compared to the knowledge of traditional nursing maternity practices?


The major steps of the project were to (a) identify new skills and knowledge needed by the staff nurses to function successfully and to integrate the new philosophy of Family-Centered Nursing Care, (b) select through a process of professional consensus the top evidence-based clinical recommendations, (c) design educational modules to increase staff nurses’ knowledge of Family-Centered Nursing Care, and (d) measure knowledge gained, to determine the impact of the educational intervention.


All participants were female staff nurses between the ages of 25 and 65 years, working on the maternity unit: 26 (55.3%) worked on the nursery unit, 19 (40.4%) worked on the postpartum unit, and two (4.3%) were managers on the units.


Six pre- and post tests were given in online format to assess the participant's knowledge of educational module objectives. Descriptive statistics such as number, mean, and standard deviation was used to analyze demographic data. Paired t test was used to analyze pre- and post test score. A 95% confidence interval was set (p = .05).

Implementation Strategies

During a period of 3 months, nine educational sessions were scheduled and completed. An identical format was followed for each session. The four modules were (a) introduction to Family-Centered Nursing Care, (b) postpartum assessment/nursing care, (c) newborn assessment/nursing care, and (d) perinatal safety and risk management.


The pre- and post test scores of all the educational modules were compared by calculating a paired-samples t test. The total mean score on the pretest was 0.57 (SD = 0.10). The total mean score on post test was 0.90 (SD = .065). These results exhibited a significant difference in test scores (t (46) = –28.426, p < .000).

Conclusion/Implications for Nursing Practice

The provision of expert-facilitated evidence-based education, guided by the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework, which considers evidence, context, and facilitation, can be an impetus for change in healthcare practice. An innovative educational program tailored to the learning needs of experienced staff nurses can contribute to improvement in evidence-based nursing practice and patient care.