How can we prepare nurses who will have as their focus of practice, the health of the family unit? This paper describes the learning outcomes which were generated from a short term experience in a curriculum where the major thrust is learning to nurse families in a health promoting way. Students were provided with experience with families who were undergoing an important family event, e.g., coping with the short term hospitalization of a child. An exploration and analysis of these experiences revealed for students the content of nursing families who are in the process of dealing with this particular event of family living. This content related to the acquisition of nursing skills of an interpersonal, technical and decision-making nature as well as the development of knowledge which provides the basis for nursing the family as the unit of care.