Back to Sleep Training for Nursery Room Nurses


Promising Practice

Back to Sleep Training for Nursery Room Nurses

State/TerritorySettingPopulationTopic AreaNPMs
MissouriClinicalPerinatal/Infant HealthInjury Prevention & Hospitalization5

This practice is no longer being implemented. Unfortunately, there is no contact information available for this practice. Hospital nurses working with healthy newborns are one of the first role models parents encounter. If nurses are advising parents on babies’ sleeping position, they need to practice this in the newborn nursery. The value of parents observing consistency between public health messages and practices cannot be underestimated. In October 2000, the Missouri Department of Health contracted a study to determine the standard of care evidenced by Missouri hospitals’ policies and practice behaviors of hospital newborn nurses, regarding newborn sleep position. The study confirmed that nurses appear reluctant to fully embrace use of the supine sleep position recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and they appeared more comfortable with the side-lying position and believed the side-lying position to be as acceptable. Study results demonstrated the need for developing and implementing strategies designed to change knowledge, attitude, and behavior of hospital newborn nursery room nurses on how they place healthy newborns for sleep.

The Back to Sleep training was developed in response to this need for targeted information by nurses, identified through the survey to engage in outdated infant care practices in the hospital. The Training proposed that exposing hospital staff to a curriculum based on scientific support of the recommendations would increase knowledge and improve adherence to risk reduction practices. Evaluation of the Training involved analysis of immediate impact of the presentation on participants, as well as long-term impact on health behaviors and practices. Overall, the findings suggest that the Training has been extremely effective and has been very successful.


practice contact information

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
AMCHP Evidence and Implementation Staff
evidence@amchp.org