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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Elverson


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The documented benefits of human milk highlight the importance of support from healthcare providers. After a review of published literature regarding donor milk, a practice innovation project was developed. This project is centered upon the use of donor milk in the premature infant to improve quality of life, shorten hospital stays and decrease rates of gastrointestinal illnesses and to raise awareness, acceptance and knowledge of healthcare providers.
METHODS: A quasi-experimental, cohort study surveying HCPs employed in a Women and Children’s Services Department in a rural, Midwestern hospital. Healthcare providers were surveyed pre-intervention, post-intervention and at three months post intervention on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards DHM.
RESULTS: Healthcare providers knowledge was statistically significantly different among the three surveys (x2 (2) = 8.879, p=0.012). Attitudes of healthcare providers were also statistically significantly different among the three surveys (x2 (2) = 15.91, p=0.000). All respondents (100%, n=32) perceived that DHM use had increased in the three months post intervention. Nearly a third of participants (33%, n=36) reported they encouraged mothers to ask their NICU providers about DHM use for their premature infant. Pre-intervention physician ordering of DHM was 15%, post-intervention ordering reached 64% during the study time frame.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of HCPs employed in a Women and Children’s Services department strongly support the use of DHM for premature infants. An educational strategy within an evidence based practice project can have a clinically important impact on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of HCPs regarding DHM.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Breast milk
Premature infants -- Nutrition


Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-92)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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