The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.
Nurses’ Perceptions of Critical Issues Requiring Consideration in the Development of Guidelines for Professional Registered Nurse Staffing for Perinatal Units
Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 41, Issue 4, pages 474–482, July/August 2012
How to Cite
Simpson, K. R., Lyndon, A., Wilson, J. and Ruhl, C. (2012), Nurses’ Perceptions of Critical Issues Requiring Consideration in the Development of Guidelines for Professional Registered Nurse Staffing for Perinatal Units. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: 474–482. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01383.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: MAR 2012
- NIH/NCRR/OD UCSF-CTSI. Grant Number: KL2 RR024130
- nurse staffing;
- staffing guidelines;
- perinatal care;
- patient acuity;
- nurse burnout;
- nurse retention;
- nurse satisfaction
To solicit input from registered nurse members of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) on critical considerations for review and revision of existing nurse staffing guidelines.
Thematic analysis of responses to a cross-sectional on-line survey question: “Please give the staffing task force your input on what they should consider in the development of recommendations for staffing of perinatal units.”
Members of AWHONN (N = 884).
Descriptions of staffing concerns that should be considered when evaluating and revising existing perinatal nurse staffing guidelines. Consistent themes identified included the need for revision of nurse staffing guidelines due to requirements for safe care, increases in patient acuity and complexity, invisibility of the fetus and newborn as separate and distinct patients, difficulties in providing comprehensive care during labor and for mother-baby couplets under current conditions, challenges in staffing small volume units, and the negative effect of inadequate staffing on nurse satisfaction and retention.
Participants overwhelmingly indicated current nurse staffing guidelines were inadequate to meet the needs of contemporary perinatal clinical practice and required revision based on significant changes that had occurred since 1983 when the original staffing guidelines were published.