The planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare is grounded in a mutually beneficial partnership between healthcare providers, patients and families. Patient and family centered practitioners recognize the vital role that families play in ensuring the health and well being of patients in the hospital. Who would better understand the patients’ needs than a former patient?

To become a Parent Advisor, you must be a graduate NICU parent, be at least one-year post discharge from the hospital, and complete the RPI Yellow belt training. Our national professional associations are the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care and the Vermont Oxford Network.

Parent Advisor duties:

  • Review literature
  • Give presentations to residents, nurses and other clinicians
  • Attend safety symposiums, health care fairs and conferences
  • Sit in on steering committee meetings, quality council meetings and special project meetings
  • Provide insight, give feedback and guide quality improvement projects
  • Acquire feedback from other graduate NICU families through surveys and phone calls
  • Provide peer-to-peer support for NICU families

Parent Advisors are usually certified and trained volunteers through the hospital and may go into the unit and provide support and encouragement to families in the NICU.


We encourage all parents to speak up, ask questions and to take an active participation in their baby’s care. In the NICU parents can:

  • Participate in the diagnosis
  • Engage and share in the decision making process
  • Follow along the treatment plan
  • Partner with their healthcare team to create a culture of safety
  • Improve the experience of care for their baby

For more information on Patient and Family Centered Care

I recommend visiting the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care and reading Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connections in Health Care by Liz Crocker and Bev Johnson.