The transition to home for infants who require complex care can be overwhelming for caregivers. Infants with critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) require advanced care management, so their caregivers must acquire extensive training before the infants are discharged home. Rooming-in programs have improved patient outcomes in other settings, such as the postpartum period. However, little research has examined a rooming-in program in a pediatric cardiac acute care setting.


To describe nurses’ perceptions of a novel rooming-in program implemented in a pediatric cardiac acute care unit.


A qualitative descriptive research design was used to describe nurses’ perceptions of the rooming-in program for infants with CCHD. Three focus groups were conducted with a convenience sample of 13 registered nurses who cared for infants with CCHD during the rooming-in program. Four trained independent coders performed qualitative thematic analysis.


Nurses provided critical insight into the rooming-in program. Three themes were identified: improved nursing and family outcomes, leading the way through collaboration, and room for improvement.


Infants with CCHD have complex needs, and caregivers must acquire advanced skills to adequately care for these infants. This study is the first to explore nurses’ perceptions of a rooming-in program for infants with CCHD. The findings could improve rooming-in programs in the pediatric acute care setting, which can translate to better patient outcomes.

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