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“Knowing the Places of Care”: How Nurses Facilitate Transition of Children with Complex Health Care Needs from Hospital to Home

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date10 Feb 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Feb 2016
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2016


The number of children with complex health care needs continues to rise and they often have prolonged hospital stays with their discharge home being delayed by a range of factors. These delays occur despite the fact that, except in extraordinary circumstances, a child’s home is the most appropriate place for them to receive long-term care. The aim of this qualitative interview-based study was to explore the work of nurses whose main role is supporting children and families move from an institutional place of care to long-term care within the family home. Analysis of interview transcripts was collaborative, interpretive, and thematic. A total of 46 participants (9 nurses and 37 local stakeholders) engaged in the study. Findings reflect the ways in which the nurses facilitated transition of children with complex needs from hospital to home and the journeys the nurses took to develop the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to support this transition. “Knowing the places of care” was fundamental to the success of the nurses’ work. As the nurses’ knowledge of the places (and processes) of care deepened, they were better able to act as informed guides to families and other professionals and to improve care. The nurses’ practice was driven by the belief that the place where care occurs matters. Home was seen as a transformative and sustaining place where caring practices could become incorporated into an environment in which the family could exist and be nurtured together.

    Research areas

  • At-homeness, Child, places and spaces of care, Nurses, Home, discharge planning, complex health care needs, WellChild

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing on 10 February 2016, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript, 471 KB, PDF document


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