Online Program

Workforce preparation for prematurity prevention: An innovative continuing education program for maternity nurses

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Lisa Paine, CNM, DrPH, The Hutchinson Dyer Group, Cambridge, MA
Jo-Anna Rorie, MSN, MPH, PhD, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Elizabeth Hill-Karbowski, CNM, PhD candidate, Women's Services, Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph Hospital, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Close to a half million babies are born prematurely each year in the United States. Prevention efforts can be augmented by preparation of a maternity nurse workforce with necessary skills to make timely preterm labor assessments. Program Description: A novel continuing education program was developed to prepare maternity nurses (RNs) with skills needed for preterm labor prevention, including proper procedures for intrapartum sterile speculum examination and comprehensive specimen collection. The program was developed in two phases; 1) an on-line continuing education program: “Intrapartum Sterile Speculum Examination (IP-SSE) and Specimen Collection for RNs”, and 2) an on-site “Clinical Skills Companion to the IP-SSE for RNs Program”. Both were designed for application in geographically diverse settings. Results: Since 2007, nearly 10,000 nurses have completed the on-line continuing education program. Since 2009, 924 nurses have completed the on-site clinical skills program at 49 sites nationwide. Program and faculty evaluations have been consistently positive with greater than 90% excellent ratings in all categories; 99% of the nurses reported attainment of learning objectives. Evaluation of program impact is ongoing, with follow-up surveys of participants and administrators confirming program impact on enhanced skills of nurses and their increased participation in local preterm labor and birth assessment efforts. Conclusions: The public health significance of a maternity nurse workforce trained to make timely assessments for preterm labor cannot be overstated. The success of this program has continued to shape the efforts of midwives to reduced preterm birth through workforce preparation, including expansion of this innovative program.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process by which maternity nurses can develop enhanced assessment skills to more directly participate in efforts to reduce premature labor and birth.

Keyword(s): Maternal Care, Nurses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the program director of a number of funded prematurity prevention education programs for registered nurses. I have also been the pricipal investigor or co-investigator of several federally funded grants, including education program and training grants and original research.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. Prematurity Prevention Programs Consultant

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.