Spontaneous labor and normal birth are associated with optimal maternal-fetal outcomes for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies. Despite that fact, medicalized management of childbirth predominates the maternity health culture of the United States. Childbirth outcomes have been linked to the care provided by intrapartum nurses, and that care has been influenced by nurses’ beliefs about birth. As potential future intrapartum nurses, it is important to explore if nursing students who have completed a maternity nursing course have medicalized or normal birth beliefs. No studies were found in which undergraduate nursing students and their birth practice beliefs were examined after completing their maternity courses. Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior was used to guide this study. There were four research questions:

  1. What are the birth practice beliefs of undergraduate nursing students?
  2. Do select demographic characteristics such as age, gender, region, and personal birth and education experiences predict an undergraduate nursing student’s birth practice beliefs?
  3. How do undergraduate nursing students describe their beliefs about the birth process?
  4. How do nursing students interpret the role of the intrapartum nurse?

A descriptive correlational research survey design with convenience and snowball sampling methods was used for this study. Data were collected using the Student Nurse’s Beliefs Related to Birth Practice (SNBBP) instrument and analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple regression, and content analysis.

Date of publication

Spring 4-7-2021

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Barbara McAlister, Dr. Jenifer Chilton, Dr. Danita Alfred, and Dr. Ellise Adams


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Included in

Nursing Commons