Background Nursing care is essential to overall quality of healthcare experienced by patients and families - especially during childbearing. However, evidence regarding quality of nursing care during labor and birth is lacking, and established nurse-sensitive outcome indicators have limited applicability to maternity care. Nurse-sensitive outcomes need to be established for maternity care, and prior research suggests that the initiation of human milk feeding during childbirth hospitalization is a potentially nurse-sensitive outcome. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between nurse-reported staffing, missed nursing care during labor and birth, and exclusive breast milk feeding during childbirth hospitalization as a nurse-sensitive outcome. Methods 2018 Joint Commission PC-05 Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding rates were linked to survey data from labor nurses who worked in a selected sample of hospitals with both PC-05 data and valid 2018 American Hospital Association Annual Survey data. Nurse-reported staffing was measured as the perceived compliance with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses staffing guidelines by the labor and delivery unit. Data from the nurse survey were aggregated to the hospital level. Bivariate linear regression was used to determine associations between nurse and hospital characteristics and exclusive breast milk feeding rates. Generalized structural equation modeling was used to model relationships between nurse-reported staffing, nurse-reported missed care, and exclusive breast milk feeding at the hospital level. Results The sample included 184 hospitals in 29 states and 2,691 labor nurses who worked day, night, or evening shifts. Bivariate analyses demonstrated a positive association between nurse-reported staffing and exclusive breast milk feeding and a negative association between missed nursing care and exclusive breast milk feeding. In structural equation models controlling for covariates, missed skin-to-skin mother-baby care and missed breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth mediated the relationship between nurse-reported staffing and exclusive breast milk feeding rates. Discussion This study provides evidence that hospitals' nurse-reported compliance with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses staffing guidelines predicts hospital-exclusive breast milk feeding rates and that the rates are a nurse-sensitive outcome.
- human milk feeding
- missed nursing care
- nurse staffing
- nurse-sensitive patient outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas