Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing


Introduction: Leaders of a six-bed pediatric cardiac critical care unit identified the need to evaluate family engagement in patient care activities prior to implementing quality improvement initiatives. This program evaluation identified staff and family perception of barriers and facilitators to parent engagement in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

Methods: Data were collected through quantitative and qualitative methods. Surveys collected staff baseline and parent pre-/post-hospital perception of the role of family engagement in caring for the child.

Results: The Questionnaire of Factors That Influence Family Engagement survey of 58 registered nurses indicated the nurse workflow (τb = .579, p = .000), unit environment (τb = .572, p = .000), nurse attitude (τb = .520, p =.000), and patient acuity (τb = .519, p = .000) were perceived to correlate with the overall family engagement score. Registered nurses with greater than 15 years of experience had a higher median score for parent engagement compared to nurses with less than five years of experience (p =.021). The nine parents surveyed found a change (Z = -2.000, p = 0.046) in parent perception in overall safety pre- to post-hospitalization. Lack of written policy was identified as a barrier for nurses and safety was a facilitator for parents; and both identified collaboration, communication, and shared decision making as a facilitator.

Conclusions: Developing and enhancing a partnership between parents and caregivers, involving mutual respect and shared decision making, may improve pediatric patient parent engagement in care and ultimate a child’s physical and psychological health.

Available for download on Friday, April 05, 2024