Implementing family-integrated care in the NICU: educating nurses

Adv Neonatal Care. 2013 Oct;13(5):335-40. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e3182a14cde.


The purpose of this study was to develop, implement, and evaluate a nursing education program to support family-integrated care in a Canadian neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A total of 44 nurses volunteered to take part in the family-integrated care program, 35 of whom received additional education in the form of a 4-hour workshop. Of the 35 nurses who attended, 21 were interviewed regarding the impact and content of the workshop. The study design included the development, implementation, and qualitative assessment of the nursing education component of a family-integrated care program. The multidisciplinary program team conducted a literature review and then designed and conducted a survey to assess the educational requirements of nurses regarding family-integrated care. A nursing workshop was then developed on the basis of the literature review, staff survey responses, and discussions with staff and parents who had experienced having an infant in the NICU. Six months into the program, the contribution of the nursing workshop content to nurses' participation in the family-integrated care program was evaluated using individual structured interviews. Nurses who were interviewed described the workshop as valuable and reported that the information provided on nursing versus parental responsibilities in infant care, the parent experience in the NICU, and developmental care strategies was the most useful. Interviewees also identified the need for ongoing staff mentoring to maximize their ability to facilitate family-integrated care. Specific education for nurses facilitates family-integrated care in the NICU.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Education, Nursing / methods*
  • Family Nursing / education*
  • Family Nursing / methods
  • Family Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Neonatal Nursing / education*
  • Neonatal Nursing / methods
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Parents
  • Program Development