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  1. Epstein, Elizabeth Gingell PhD, RN
  2. Miles, Alison RN
  3. Rovnyak, Virginia PhD
  4. Baernholdt, Marianne PhD, RN, MPH


Nurse-parent relationships are a key aspect of high-quality family-centered care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Few studies have examined nursing continuity of care that includes (a) chronological continuity, that is, the number of nurses caring for an infant over time, (b) the consistency of information transferred to the parent and colleagues, and (c) the consistency of interactions between parent and nurse as an important factor in the nurse-parent relationship. The aims of this pilot study were to develop and test a scale of parental perceptions of nursing continuity of care in the newborn intensive care setting and to characterize the association between parents' perceptions and chronological nursing continuity. Fifty-four parents completed the Parents' Perceptions of Continuity Scale and a demographic questionnaire. Also, medical record and a count of the number of nurses caring for infant in past 7 days were collected. The Parents' Perceptions of Continuity Scale demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach[alpha], 0.81). Parents' Perceptions of Continuity Scale scores were significantly associated with chronological nursing continuity, suggesting that the number of nurses caring for an infant plays a role in parents' perceptions of overall nursing continuity.