Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction and Augmentation, 5th Edition

Nurs Womens Health. 2020 Aug;24(4):S1-S41. doi: 10.1016/j.nwh.2020.04.005.


Cervical ripening and induction and augmentation of labor are common procedures in labor and birth units. The potential risks and benefits for the procedure should be explained to women so that they can make informed decisions. Clinicians should be knowledgeable about the methods and medications used and be skilled in maternal-fetal assessment. Adequate nurse staffing is required to monitor the mother and fetus to promote the best possible outcomes. This practice monograph includes information on mechanical and pharmacologic methods for cervical ripening; labor induction and augmentation with oxytocin, a high alert drug; and nurse staffing levels and skills needed to provide safe and effective care during cervical ripening and labor induction and augmentation.

Keywords: Amniotomy; Cervical Ripening; Decision Making, Shared; Informed Consent; Labor, Induced; Laminaria; Oxytocin; Prostaglandins; Watchful Waiting.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Ripening / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced / methods*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / drug therapy
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / therapy*
  • Oxytocics / administration & dosage
  • Oxytocin / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome


  • Oxytocics
  • Oxytocin