Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Vaccinations are important factors in the eradication of most communicable diseases. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine has been found to decrease the incidence and further spread of pertussis, and even nullify its existence, yet many postpartum mothers opt not to receive the vaccination even if eligible to do so. It was unknown whether clinical nursing staff at the project site had sufficient knowledge about Tdap vaccine to educate postpartum mothers to accept the vaccine. The practice-focused question explored whether an educational program and a toolkit implemented for nursing staff members on the postpartum nursing unit would improve Tdap vaccination rates among postpartum mothers. The health belief model, theory of planned behavior, and social learning theory provided a framework for the project. Evidence obtained from the results of pre- and post-testing of nursing staff on their vaccine-related knowledge and attitudes showed a statistically significant increase in knowledge (z = -3.366, p = .001). Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate the change in Tdap refusal after the education. The use of Tdap vaccine in the postpartum period improved slightly with fewer postpartum mothers refusing the vaccine in the post-education period. Project findings showed that providing Tdap vaccine education to clinical nursing staff could prepare them to teach postpartum mothers about the benefits of Tdap vaccination, which may improve the percentage of postpartum mothers who will accept the vaccine. Higher vaccination rates might contribute to positive social change by decreasing pertussis transmission rates for newborns.