Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Anderson

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Kathy Isaacs

Committee Member

Dr. Kristin Ashford


Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) claims the lives of about 3700 infants in the United States each year (CDC, 2015). It is the second leading cause of infant death in Kentucky (KDPH,2015) where it has a rate almost three times that of the nation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made recommendations to decrease the risk of SUID and indicates hospital professionals, including nurses, have a responsibility to educate and model safe sleep strategies for parents. An evaluation of the knowledge and self-efficacy about safe sleep and SUID risk-reduction strategies of neonatal and perinatal nurses in Kentucky birthing and children’s hospitals was accomplished. A prospective, cross-sectional research design was used per an online survey that included an adapted version of the SIDS Risk-Reduction Questionnaire. Seventy-eight nurses throughout the state of Kentucky responded to the survey. Both neonatal and perinatal nurses felt that recommendations for safe sleep made a difference in preventing SUID and they followed a unit/hospital policy regarding SUID regardless of their own beliefs. All nurses included safe sleep strategies in their discharge teaching to parents but perinatal nurses discussed sleep sacks and the effects of smoking less often than neonatal nurses, and both types of nurses did not discuss the use of pacifiers as frequently as other risk-reduction strategies. All nurses were confident in their ability to teach and model safe sleep. Assuring nurses in birthing and children’s hospitals receive up-to-date and ongoing education about safe sleep recommendations to share with and model for parents is necessary. An evaluation to determine safe sleep knowledge of a greater number of nurses in the state of Kentucky is warranted.