1. Reid, Davika D. PhD, RN
  2. Garcia, Alexandra A. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Zuniga, Julie A. PhD, RN, FAAN
  4. Mercer, Tim MD, MPH
  5. Gulbas, Lauren PhD
  6. Walker, Lorraine O. EdD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  7. Chelagat, Dinah PhD, RN


Background: Neonatal mortality (death within 0-28 d of life) in Kenya is high despite strong evidence that newborn care recommendations save lives. In public healthcare facilities, nurses counsel caregivers on term newborn care, but knowledge about the content and quality of nurses' recommendations is limited.


Purpose: To describe the term newborn care recommendations provided at a tertiary-level, public referral hospital in Western Kenya, how they were provided, and related content taught at a university nursing school.


Methods: A rapid, focused ethnographic assessment, guided by the culture care theory, using stratified purposive sampling yielded 240 hours of participant observation, 24 interviews, 34 relevant documents, and 268 pages of field notes. Data were organized using NVivo software and key findings identified using applied thematic analysis.


Results: Themes reflect recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding, warmth, cord care, follow-up examinations, and immunizations, which were provided orally in Kiswahili and some on a written English discharge summary. Select danger sign recommendations were also provided orally, if needed. Some recommendations conflicted with other providers' guidance. More recommendations for maternal care were provided than for newborn care.


Implications for Practice: There is need for improved consistency in content and provision of recommendations before discharge. Findings should be used to inform teaching, clinical, and administrative processes to address practice competency and improve nursing care quality.


Implications for Research: Larger studies are needed to determine whether evidence-based recommendations are provided consistently across facilities and other populations, such as community-born and premature newborns, who also experience high rates of neonatal mortality in Kenya.