INTRODUCTION: This study explored children's perceptions about the quality of nursing care and the determinants of their evaluations according to different categories of children's ages. DESIGN: Multicenter cross-sectional study carried out on 692 pediatric patients in eight large Italian regional hospitals. METHODS: We used a validated questionnaire, translated and adapted to the Italian context, consisting of 49 items (5-point Likert scale) exploring nurse characteristics, nursing activities, and nursing environment. FINDINGS: The mean score of children's perceptions of their overall experience of hospitalization was 3.96; the nurse characteristics factor obtained the highest score (mean = 3.79), and it was in positive correlation with the satisfaction level across different age categories: 4 to 6 years, β = .37; 7 to 11 years, β = .31; and 12 to 14 years, β = .32. CONCLUSIONS: Nurse characteristics is the only significant factor contributing to children's satisfaction across the three different age categories. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In pediatric nursing care, it is important to emphasize that nurses' personal characteristics and the ability to connect with children are essential compared to the ability to perform tasks.
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