Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Franks, Lisa

Committee Member/Reader

Hentzen, Jane


Family-centered care has not always been integrated with patient-care. In the mid-1900's, a movement began that altered the role of the family from observer to participant. With the help of family advocates, inclusive practices and partnerships between families, patients, and providers was initiated (Kuo et al, 2012). Now, family and patient-centered care is a widely practiced form of individualized care and relationship building between families, patients and their providers. Five principles shape the foundation for family-centered care. These include information sharing, respect and honoring differences, partnership and collaboration, negotiation, and care in the context of family and community (Kuo et al, 2012). Evidence shows that when these concepts are implemented, quality of care, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction increase.

Family-centered care practices were designed for implementation in pediatric facilities of all kinds. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is the ideal area for family-centered care to take place because of the unique and vulnerable nature of the mother/infant relationship. Neonates that are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit face immense trials from their first day of life, while the parents experience serious physical, emotional and psychosocial challenges. These parents often report high levels of stress and increased incidence of depression (Feeley et al, 2020). The benefits of family-centered care are exceedingly important, especially for these populations and there is great gain in aiming to effectively implement such practices.


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Family-Centered Care, Cultural barriers, Nurse's role