Breastfeeding Education for Nurses in Rural Rwanda | Categories Poster

Closed captioning provided

Title: Breastfeeding Education for Nurses in Rural Rwanda
Presenter: Jennifer McCullough, DNP, RN, BSN; University of Utah College of Nursing
Faculty Sponsor: Debra Penney, CNM, MPH, PhD, University of Utah
Date: 5/14/20
Brief Description: Nurses at a district hospital in rural Rwanda demonstrated increased breastfeeding knowledge and skills after receiving education through various practical methods
Keywords/Main Subjects: Education, breastfeeding, rural healthcare, Rwanda, nursing
Copyright: copyright Jennifer McCullough ©2020



At a district hospital in rural Rwanda, nurses have never received breastfeeding education and do not have the tools needed to teach mothers how to breastfeed. Effective breastfeeding and breastmilk expression require efforts of mother, infant, and supportive nurses. Training nurses how to help mothers express milk and breastfeed will empower nurses to apply their knowledge at the bedside.


Nurses completed a needs assessment. A pre-test identified their knowledge and directed objectives. Educational materials included handouts, breast simulator, and a simulation checklist. Nurses received training in small groups. Content included breast anatomy, breastmilk expression and breastfeeding. Following training, nurses completed a matched five-question post-test. Nurses recorded the number of mothers taught for three months. Four months after training, nurses repeated the post-test to evaluate retained knowledge and attended a focus group.


Nurses demonstrated a 47.2% increase in knowledge following education.The final post-test demonstrated a 40.3% increase in knowledge. Teaching forms completed for 132 patients, of which 72% of mothers received breastfeeding and/or breastmilk expression education. From focus group data, education enhanced the nurses’ ability to teach mothers. Time was the greatest barrier to teaching.


Training designed according to learner identified needs and methods was well-received. Nurses’ knowledge increased and was retained through practice and reinforcement of concepts. Nurses voiced improved ability to apply teaching following education. Future projects at this site using these teaching methods are recommended to reinforce and develop breastfeeding skills and to improve other skills that nurses identify.