Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Mary T. Verklan


The old practice of separating the mother-baby-dyad was without measurable benefits to mothers or their infants. Evidence has shown that skin-to-skin care (SSC) prevents hypothermia and hypoglycemia, decreases crying during painful procedures in newborns, and reduces maternal anxiety, stress, and postpartum depression. Rooming-in care (RIC) has been linked to an increase in the rate of breastfeeding and mother-infant interaction, as well as a decrease in the infant morbidity rate. This project assessed the effect of an educational intervention to increase rates of SSC and RIC in an obstetric unit, in addition to measuring nurses' attitudes and barriers in relation to SSC and RIC. The obstetric nurses received educational content related to SSC and RIC based on Kotter's model of change. A pre and postintervention evaluation showed a significant increase in the rates of SSC and RIC from pretest of 10%, to posttest of 96%; and RIC from pretest of 10% to posttest of 92%. Using a Wilcoxon test, a significant difference was found from pretest to posttest for every subscale score of the Mother-Newborn Skin-to-Skin Contact Questionnaire and Nurse Attitudes and Barriers to nonseparation Scale (p < 0.001), with the exception of belief about obstacles for SSC, which yielded a nonsignificant change (p = 0.57). This DNP project led to changes in the organization's culture, including the closure of the well-baby nursery. This project promoted social change across the organization, in that the team health care providers delivered evidence-based, standardized, unbiased, and family-centered care to the mother-baby dyad.

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Nursing Commons