Research has shown that unrestricted visitation is beneficial and contributes to high-quality family-centered care. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic most hospitals banned visitors. In the ensuing time, despite repeated evidence of the negative effects of restricted visitation on patients, caregivers, and families, many hospitals continue to enforce a restrictive policy.

Marmo and colleagues examined current visitation policies of Magnet and Pathway to Excellence facilities that had unrestricted visitation policies in their adult intensive care units before the pandemic. They found that

  • All participating nurse leaders thought that the decision to restrict during the pandemic was made by external systems with no input from nursing.

  • None of the hospitals went back to an open visitation policy, and most study participants thought that open visitation polices would not return.

  • Nurse leaders described restricted visitation causing harm to patients, families, and nurses.

Although technology capabilities such as virtual visiting allowed...

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