Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Nanette Hoerr


The maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the United States continue to outpace other industrialized nations. Across the United States, a variety of obstetric critical care programs have emerged to address the unique healthcare needs of the high-risk obstetric population. One teaching and specialty hospital in a Midwest metropolitan city responded to the needs of high-risk obstetric patients by developing a critical care program within its service line. Because high-risk obstetric patients present with multi-faceted and complex needs, this program represented varied nursing expertise, including obstetric and intensive care specialties. Because care was delivered within the ICU setting, nurses from the obstetrical unit were charged with caring for patients in an unfamiliar location outside of their usual unit, while intensive care unit nurses were caring for an unusual patient population.

Consequently, nurses from both the obstetric department and intensive care units self-reported feeling anxious because they lacked confidence in their clinical knowledge and ability to care for patients admitted to the obstetric critical care program. In response to this identified need, the practice site organized an interprofessional clinical scholar team to identify interventions focused on sharing clinical knowledge, wayfinding, and role delineation to reduce anxiety and boost the self-confidence of nursing staff. The team surveyed the nursing staff responsible for the care of obstetric critical care program patients and, based on survey results and literature, developed and implemented a multi-modal educational toolkit designed to improve clinical knowledge and self-confidence while concurrently reducing anxiety. Recommendations for wider implementation were made to evaluate the on-going benefits of the toolkit at the practice site.