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Teaching Physiologic Birth in Maternal‐Newborn Courses in Undergraduate Nursing Programs: Current Challenges

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Abstract:

For low-risk childbearing women, fewer technological interventions are associated with better physical and psychosocial outcomes; yet, the number of unmedicated physiologic births is decreasing. As a result, fewer undergraduate nursing students experience caring for women who choose physiologic birth, which presents a challenge for nurse educators and implications for preparing students to provide appropriate care for all childbearing women after the students graduate. This exploratory descriptive qualitative study was conducted among 150 randomly selected undergraduate nursing programs in the United States to explore the challenges of educating nursing students about low-intervention birth. Four themes described current challenges: lack of placement opportunities, education versus clinical practice, evidence-based support of physiologic birth, and the need for more research on pedagogical strategies that effectively educate future nurses to advocate for minimal intervention birth options for all women.

Keywords: evidence-based practices in childbirth; maternal‐newborn nursing education; natural birth; physiologic birth

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.21.3.169

Affiliations: College of Nursing, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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