Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Kim Fenstermacher


Background: Infant nutrition through breastfeeding is essential for all infants because of the many benefits, like immune support and promotion of growth and development. Breast milk is especially important for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because of the decreased incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, and sepsis. Breastfeeding also enhances the maternal and infant bond.

Problem: Approximately 10% of infants born in the U.S. are admitted to the NICU, and breastfeeding rates continue to be lower for premature infants.

Methods: Most recent evidence identified from the review of literature supported the implementation of an educational intervention on breastfeeding for registered nurses (RNs) to increase breastfeeding rates in the NICU. An evidence-based quality improvement (QI) project was implemented to educate NICU RNs about breastfeeding and post-educational breastfeeding rates were measured and compared to baseline.

Intervention: An online module containing evidence-based breastfeeding education was implemented for all NICU RNs to complete. Post-intervention data were collected on infant feeding on day of discharge, as well as the mothers intention to breastfeed at home, what was most helpful in establishing mothers breastfeeding journey, and lactation consultant involvement.

Results: Any breastfeeding rates (partial/exclusive) at discharge to home increased from the baseline (75%, n = 15) and the implementation group (90.5%, n = 19).

Conclusion: An educational intervention on breastfeeding for NICU RNs increased breastfeeding rates in the NICU.