Date of Award

August 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Teresa S Johnson

Committee Members

Murad H Taani, Kris A Barnekow, Nancy Petges, Kaboni W Gondwe


breast feeding, competency, curriculum, education, evidence-based, lactation


Background: Robust evidence demonstrates optimal breastfeeding behaviors provide unmatched short- and long-term health outcomes. Therefore, breast milk feeding is more than a feeding decision; it is a significant public health concern. Breast milk is species-specific nutrition for a developing infant. The health impact of providing breastmilk extends to the lactating parent. However, the existing breastfeeding education is often inadequate to support the care of the breastfeeding dyad. The dissertation examines the role breastfeeding plays in prelicensure nursing education and analyzes the use of an evidence-based breastfeeding educational module (EBBM) on breastfeeding attitudes.Method: An integrative review analyzed the current state of breastfeeding education for prelicensure nursing students. An evidence-based breastfeeding educational module (EBBM) was developed and evaluated using a quasi-experimental study design. The study used a pretest-posttest approach and was conducted in two university settings examining the breastfeeding attitudes of prelicensure nursing students (PNS). Results: The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) measured the breastfeeding attitudes of the PNS. A statistically significant increase was found between the pretest breastfeeding attitude of PNS and the posttest breastfeeding attitude (t = 11.761, df = 72, p < .001]. Conclusion: The EBBM based on the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Core Competencies in Breastfeeding Care for All Healthcare Providers effectively improved the positive attitudes of PNS in the study sample. The study’s findings establish a viable educational intervention to impact the breastfeeding education of PNS. The implementation of a standardized breastfeeding education can be achieved by the nursing program accreditation organization. The systematic approach can require the inclusion of vital breastfeeding instruction. Nurses are uniquely positioned to impact the care of the breastfeeding dyad in all healthcare settings.