In the News
Surprising gaps found in RN knowledge of postpartum complications. A nationwide survey of 372 postpartum nurses, published in MCN: the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, suggests RNs may not be current in their knowledge of maternal mortality trends in the United States and the leading causes of these deaths. Almost half of the respondents did not know that U.S. maternal mortality rates have increased over the past decade. Likewise, almost half reported spending less than 20 minutes teaching patients what they needed to know to prevent complications after discharge. Yet most of the nurses surveyed, all of whom were members of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, said they kept current by reading articles, books, or published guidelines. The study authors suggest that nurses need more education to bridge the identified knowledge gaps so they can adequately inform postpartum women about potential complications and their warning signs. The authors called for additional research on the best ways for nurses to integrate this information into discharge procedures.