Nonurgent Pediatric Interhospital Transfers: A Narrative Enquiry of Nurses’ Experiences in Australia

Published:January 27, 2023DOI:



      This study aimed to explore nonurgent pediatric interhospital transfers through the lens of nurses’ experiences and perceptions when undertaking these transfers.


      Using a narrative inquiry approach, data were collected via semistructured interviews with registered nurses (N = 7) who had experience undertaking patient transfers between nonurgent low-acuity and urgent high-acuity hospital settings.


      Findings established the following 8 themes: ensuring transfer preparation for risk mitigation, practicing confident advocacy, being accountable for risk mitigation of the deteriorating patient during transfer, maintaining standardized procedure, using training and mentorship to support confidence, maintaining interhospital and intrahospital relationships, recognizing the significance of transfer on families, and acknowledging the burden of transfer and delay.


      By exploring the stories and experiences of emergency nurses who undertake pediatric interhospital transfers, a deep investigation of the risks and challenges has been described, an area often underrepresented in the literature. Findings from this study highlight important learnings for pediatric interhospital transfer that add value to the wider body of evidence.

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      Terri Downer is Associate Professor Midwifery, School of Health, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Twitter: @terridowner4. ORCID identifier:


      Rebecca Halsall is Clinical Nurse Consultant, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Queensland, Australia.


      Roni Cole is Nurse Researcher, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Queensland, Australia. ORCID identifier:


      Clare Thomas is Director of Paediatrics, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Queensland, Australia.


      Lauren Kearney is Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Health, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia; and Conjoint Associate Professor of Midwifery, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Queensland, Australia. Twitter: @Lauren_Kearney7. ORCID identifier: