Neonatal Nursing Task Analysis: Describing the tasks done by nurses caring for sick newborns in Kenyan health-facilities

Newborn deaths now accounts for 45% of all child deaths in Kenya. Many of these deaths among newborns could be prevented if they had access to high quality healthcare. Providing high quality newborn care is highly dependent on the adequacy of nursing care in addition to carefully planned medical care. However, there are often shortages in the number of nurses needed. These shortages put nurses under strain to deliver adequate care and may lead to nurses consciously or unconsciously prioritising tasks and the care they provide to patients, leading to varied quality with which the tasks are performed and some tasks being left

The study will take place across Kenya in 31 counties. Nurses who have provided care to sick inpatient newborns in the previous two years will be asked to partake. These nurses will be invited to participate in the study by local coordinators associated with the National Nurses Association of Kenya. Nurses working at an additional five hospitals that contribute to inpatient newborn services within Nairobi will also be invited to participate in the study. We anticipate inviting approximately 600 nurses from across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to participate.

Nurses will be invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire about the tasks that they perform when delivering inpatient care to sick newborns. Nurses will be asked to report on what proportion of their time they spend performing different categories of tasks, the importance and difficulty of each task, what their view is on tasks that may be left undone, and with what other staff or non-staff carers/family they share these tasks. In a second phase of the study, an expert group of advisors will also be engaged to completely describe in detail the step-wise process of performing neonatal nursing tasks.