Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
In the United States, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the 3rd leading cause of death for infants; other unintentional sleep injuries are the 5th. In addition, the estimated newborn fall rate in the United States is 1.6 to 6.6 falls/10,000 live births. At the project facility, postpartum registered nurses observed parents engaging in behavior that did not contribute to a safe newborn environment such as placing the infant at risk for injury from a fall or from a sleep injury. This observation led to this current project, which examined the development of an educational program for post-partum nurses to educate families in the creation of safe newborn environments. The educational project was guided by the concepts of adult learning and social learning theories, and on the recommendations resulting from the review of the literature and of the American Academy of Pediatrics' for creating a safe sleep environment. The education program included a safe sleep environment education handout for nurses to give parents, a safe newborn environment policy, and a PowerPoint presentation describing the contents of the new policy and the handouts. The PowerPoint will be retained by the facility to present at the biannual skills days to approximately 120 registered nurses working on the postpartum unit. Evaluation measures included an assessment of nurses' comfort and confidence to teach families how to create a safe newborn environment. Process evaluation included a team member questionnaire assessing leadership, analysis of evidence, and meeting facilitation. An increase in comfort and confidence and a consistent method of teaching parents would represent positive social change. Far reaching effects of creating a safe newborn environment could include improving the health of infants and preventing future health problems.