Doula Care: Nursing Students Gain Additional Skills to Define Their Professional Practice

Elizabeth T. Jordan, Shirley E. Van Zandt, Erin Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Students enter professional nursing with a desire to acquire knowledge, develop skills, and provide nurturing support during life-changing experiences such as childbirth. "Community Perspectives on the Childbearing Process," an elective course at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, provides an opportunity to learn and use the skills of physical, emotional, and informational labor support as a "doula." As the first of its kind offered in a school of nursing, this service-learning opportunity offers students the unique opportunity to learn the skills of labor support through an in-depth, hands-on experience. The experience helps students develop a proactive perspective on childbirth and to advocate and support women's choices in labor. Since its inception, more than 379 students have attended 405 births. Students, who become doulas while being educated as nurses, gain new skills, real practice experience, and strong professional standards and identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-121
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Community-based doula program
  • Continuous labor support
  • Doula care
  • Service-learning for nursing students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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