this study aimed to assess the nurses' perception on the nursing care provided to women facing the diagnosis of fetal death. research with qualitative approach carried out in a maternity school in fortaleza-ce , brazil, from september to october 2009. the sample was composed of nine nurses who worked in the service of high-risk pregnancy.the results showed that the focus of assistance offered was the provision of psychological support, through the permission given to women or family members to see the dead fetus. the difficulties most frequently mentioned were associated with the structural issue of motherhood that did not have a specific ward for mothers with a diagnosis of fetal death. they also mentioned the heavy workload, once they had functions that were not part of the procedures of praxis. thus, we emphasize the need for a different assistance to women facing fetal death covering, in addition to human resources, structural issues of health services.