This exploratory, decriptive study examined pediatric nurses' perceptions and practices of family-centered care. Nurses ( n=124) indicated on the 55-item Family-Centered Care Questionnaire (FCCQ) whether the activity was necessary for family-centered care and was currently a part of their practice. Content validity, test-retest reliability, and internal consistency were good. The nurses perceived that they performed all elements significantly less in their current practice than they believed necessary. Their perceptions about the necessary components and their practices of family-centered care varied with their age and clinical position. Although nurses indicated knowledge of family-centered care, they reported that they did not incorporate this knowledge into their practice. Several issues, such as nurses' ability to practice family-centered care, the support of the hospital infrastructure provided for nurses to practice family-centered care, and nurses' perceptions of their role in caring for families, help to explain the findings.