Integrative review: Nurses' roles and experiences in keeping children safe

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    Aim: To identify nurses' role and experiences of keeping children safe. Background: Approaches to preventing, identifying and responding to child abuse and neglect have moved towards a multidisciplinary approach where all professionals are expected to contribute to the goal of keeping children safe. Frequently in contact with children and families, nurses well positioned to contribute to keeping children safe from abuse and neglect. Much has been published around nurses' experiences of their role in keeping children safe, but this literature has not yet been synthesized to determine the challenges and potential scope of this role. Design: Integrative review following an Integrative Review framework. Data sources: Studies were identified through a search of the electronic databases CINAHL, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus and Informit to identify literature published between 2005-2015. Review methods: All the studies were critically appraised for methodological quality using the Critical Skills Appraisal Programme. Data from each study were extracted and categorized according to the review aims and the study's major findings. Results: Inclusion criteria were met in 60 studies. Three main findings were identified including nurses' insufficient knowledge, need for validation and improved communication and balancing surveillance and support for vulnerable families. Conclusions: Nurses have many roles and experiences in keeping children safe but often felt they did not have the knowledge, skills and support to take action in this area. Further research is needed to understand why nurses feel inadequate and disempowered to advocate and intervene on the behalf of children at risk of abuse or neglect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)302-322
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lines, L.E., Hutton, A.E. and Grant, J.M. (2017). Integrative review: Nurses' roles and experiences in keeping children safe. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(2) pp. 302-322, which has been published in final form at: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


    • child
    • child abuse
    • child maltreatment
    • child welfare
    • integrative review
    • mandatory reporting
    • nurse's role
    • nurses
    • safeguarding


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