Parental involvement in their child's care in hospital is common place. Research indicates that parents want to actively participate in the care ot their child. Nurses' responses to parental presence in hospital have been examined in previous research, especially with regard to attitudes, perspectives and role division. There was however a gap In the literature with regard to nurses' understanding of parenting in hospital. Within New Zealand there was no research examining nurses' understanding of parenting. The research described in this 75 point thesis explored the nurses' understanding of parenting in hospital. Using focus groups as the research method, eight nurses were invited to share their understanding of parenting in a New Zealand hospital. The data was analysed using thematic analysis informed by Stevens (1996). Although the size of the study was limited, this research has been able to raise some important issues about nurses' understanding of parenting in hospital, including the conflict perceived between parents and nurses, and the participants 'ideal' parent-nurse relationship.