For the families of patients in a neonatal intensive care unit, the transition to home is critically important. The goals of any discharge are to ensure that caregivers have the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to care for their loved ones in an organized and timely fashion and to empower the family to ensure a successful transition. Research has shown that both the planning process and outcomes achieved in relation to discharge affect families’ and patients’ satisfaction with the care they receive.1,2 

The neonatal intensive care unit at Methodist Children’s Hospital in South Texas is a 92-bed level 4 facility, which cares primarily for infants with prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome, or cardiac anomalies. After being selected to participate in the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Clinical Scene Investigator Academy, 4 staff nurses (N.D., B.R., C.P., and A.R.) identified our unit’s...

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