Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Name


First Advisor

Shirley Jackson

Second Advisor

Valerie Greene


BACKGROUND: Family Presence During Resuscitation (FPDR), has been studied and recommended as an important and relevant practice for decades, yet it remains controversial with frequent barriers to implementation. The benefits of this practice are numerous; and to truly embrace shared decision making, nurses and providers must encourage patients and families to participate in all aspects of care, even during resuscitation events. As evidence supporting the emotional and psychological benefits of FPDR began to grow, however, a global pandemic brought family presence to an abrupt halt.

METHODS: This quality improvement project’s focus was to standardize a process for offering and allowing FPDR at a community hospital. A comprehensive set of interventions were implemented to increase prevalence of FPDR throughout the organization including a formal policy and standard operating procedures, developing a Family Support Provider (FSP) role, and providing education to staff. These interventions were evaluated using review of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data and Self-Knowledge Assessment tests before and after the education sessions.

RESULTS: Policy changes were adopted and key findings from this project revealed that the hospital practices FPDR, but inconsistently. Only 18% of codes over 3 years included Family Presence. Likely factors effecting these trends include the changes in visitation policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a high completion rate of designated nurses in the FSP role (84%) who had taken the education module that completed the Self-Knowledge Assessment. Fifty percent of the correct answers in this assessment increased after the FPDR training.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of families during resuscitation events has been overwhelmingly proven to be a beneficial practice, however, success of this practice is reliant on the development and standardization of distinct family support roles, policies, and educational programs. Further work in this area is required to ensure FPDR is built as standard of care in this organization, and many others.