Adherence to the AWHONN Staffing Guidelines as Perceived by Labor Nurses

Kathleen Rice Simpson, Audrey Lyndon, Joanne Spetz, Caryl L. Gay, Gay L. Landstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the degree to which registered nurses perceive their labor and delivery units to be adhering to Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) staffing guidelines. Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study via an online survey of labor nurses recruited from hospitals in three states. Setting/Local Problem: In late 2016 and early 2017, labor nurses in selected hospitals in California, Michigan, and New Jersey were contacted via e-mail invitation to participate in a study about nursing care during labor and birth. Nurse leaders in each hospital facilitated the invitations. Participants: A total of 615 labor nurses from 67 hospitals. Intervention/Measurements: Descriptive statistics and linear regression models were used for data analysis. Results: Most nurses reported that the AWHONN nurse staffing guidelines were frequently or always followed in all aspects of care surveyed. Hospitals with annual birth volumes of 500 to 999 range were significantly more likely than hospitals with 2,500 or more annual births to be perceived as compliant with AWHONN staffing guidelines. Conclusion: When the AWHONN staffing guidelines were first published in 2010, there was concern among some nurse leaders that they would not be adopted into clinical practice, yet nurses in our sample overwhelmingly perceived their hospitals to be guideline compliant. There remains much more work to be done to determine nurse-sensitive outcomes for maternity care and to ensure that all women in labor in the United States are cared for by nurses who are not overburdened or distracted by being assigned more women than can be safely handled. In our survey of 615 labor nurses, most reported that the AWHONN nurse staffing guidelines were frequently or always followed in all aspects of care surveyed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalNursing for Women's Health
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • AWHONN
  • hospital
  • labor and delivery
  • nurse staffing
  • nursing staff
  • obstetric nursing
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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