Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



Family presence during resuscitation has been a controversial and much debated topic for many years. In the past decade, the movement toward family presence has steadily grown. The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have endorsed family presence and incorporated guidelines for its implementation. Although becoming more accepted in practice, there are still many hospitals without family presence policies, and some nurses and other health care providers continue to identify concerns about its’ use. The purpose of this project was to survey nurses’ perceptions of family presence during resuscitation in the Emergency Department. A researcher developed a survey which was left in the study site’s Emergency Department break room for a period of two weeks. The target samples were Registered Nurses (RNs) employed in the ED. Thirteen out of 59 RNs completed the survey. More than half of the respondents believed in general that family should be present, that family presence encouraged increased professional behavior from the RN, and families being present can facilitate closure. Recommendations and implications for advanced practice nursing and the need for future research are discussed.