NURS 2921
Perinatal Nursing Practice: Developing Competence

3.0 Credits


Participants apply the theory learned in HLTH 2911, under the supervision of an instructor preceptor. This course, along with HLTH 2911, enables students to meet the licensing requirements of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). Participants are introduced to perinatal nursing and develop their practice of perinatal competencies expected of entry-level nurses. Meaningful practice-based learning experiences, guided practice, and opportunities for self-reflection are provided. The majority of clinical experience in perinatal nursing takes place in a hospital where students develop competencies in antepartal assessment and care, nursing care during labour and delivery, and postpartal care of women and stable newborns. Students are also placed in an outpatient setting to develop skills in assessing and providing nursing care and support for pregnant women and their families in the antepartal period.

Delivery Method

This course is web-based with a face-to-face clinical component and is only offered in a Canadian clinical setting.


HLTH 2911 or equivalent course completed within the last two years, and a Letter of Assessment from the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia or another provincial Registered Nurse association indicating eligibility for registration in British Columbia or Canada upon completion of a qualifying course in perinatal practice or permission of the TRU-OL School of Nursing Associate Dean or delegate.

Students should have a current CPR/AED for Health Care Professionals certificate.

A current Neonatoal Resuscitation certificate is recommended.


The learning outcomes for this course follow the guidelines established by the CRNBC for maternal/newborn qualifying courses.

After students have completed their clinical experience, students will be able to:

  • Establish a professional relationship of care and communication with the childbearing family, taking into consideration the individual needs of the client and professional standards of practice.
  • Collaborate with other members of the perinatal health care team, providing support to other team members as appropriate.
  • Assess your perinatal nursing competencies and identify areas that need development.
  • Complete nursing assessments of childbearing women throughout the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods.
  • Develop nursing care plans for childbearing women throughout the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods.
  • Provide nursing care to pregnant, labouring, and postpartal women and identify situations requiring interventions from experienced perinatal caregivers.
  • Complete nursing assessments of stable newborns in the immediate and early postpartum periods.
  • Develop nursing care plans for stable newborns in the immediate and early postpartum periods.
  • Provide nursing care to stable newborns and identify situations requiring interventions from experienced neonatal caregivers.
  • Assess the client's knowledge and capacity for self care and care of the newborn.
  • Develop and implement teaching plans to meet the needs of childbearing families in the antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal periods.
  • Assist postpartal women and childbearing families making the transition to home and the community, providing care, and teaching and direction to other health care resources in the community where appropriate.

Course Outline

  • Section 1: Pre-Practice Preparation
  • Section 2: Orientation to the Perinatal Practice Environment
  • Section 3: Practice Rotation
  • Section 4: Assessment

The assessment forms that you will use throughout the practice experience follow Section 4.

Maximum Completion

16 Weeks: 120 clinical hours; this course is designed to be completed in three to four weeks of elapsed time, with a maximum completion time of 16 weeks. The length of time will depend on students particular clinical environment and scheduling and students individual nursing competencies.

Required Text and Materials

This is a companion course to HLTH 2911, therefore, there are no materials package for this course.

Students who did not take HLTH 2911 and do not have a maternity textbook are required to source and purchase their own for this course. Students may consult their Open Learning Faculty Member for a suitable title after registration.

Additional Requirements

Most of the work will be completed in the practice environment. However, there will be times when students will consult the course Web site for online resources. Access to a computer and email is essential for communicating with the Open Learning Faculty Member throughout the course.

Computer with Internet is required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

By the time students receive their course package, students will have been assigned an Open Learning Faculty Member and Nurse Preceptor (Registered Nurse in the practice setting). Both are experts in perinatal nursing. They will support student practice experience, monitor progress and on any difficulties students are having, and provide assistance as needed. In addition to supervising the learning activities associated with this practice course, the Open Learning Faculty Member and Preceptor will also evaluate student progress as students work through the practice experience. Plan to speak with the Open Learning Faculty Member and with the Preceptor (if at all possible) before beginning the practice experience to review skills and competencies. (Refer to Section 1: Pre Practice Preparation in the Practice Guide for details.)


During the practice experience, students will be assessing their nursing competencies and progress on a regular basis and consulting with both the Open Learning Faculty Member and Nurse Preceptor. Student Preceptor will also formally evaluate their competencies at the end of the practice experience. This final evaluation will determine the grade (pass or fail).

Pre-Practice Assessment 20%
Mid Term Evaluation 40%
Final Evaluation 40%