OBJECTIVE : To identify the effects of a mother-nurse partnership programme based on the core components of information sharing, negotiation and participation in care. Specifically, we examined the programme's effects on parental satisfaction, parental self-efficacy, perceived partnership and anxiety, as well as infants' time to reach full oral feeding and length of postoperative hospital stay, following cardiac surgery on infants at a paediatric intensive care unit with a restrictive visiting policy. UNASSIGNED : Quasi-experimental study. An analysis of covariance was used to investigate between-group differences while ensuring homogeneity. METHODS : A paediatric cardiac ICU. METHODS : Parental satisfaction, parental self-efficacy, perceived partnership and anxiety. RESULTS : Data from 37 and 36 mothers in the control and experimental groups respectively, were analysed. Compared with controls, experimental group mothers reported significantly higher parental satisfaction (F = 39.29, p < .001), parental self-efficacy (F = 7.45, p = .008), perceived partnership (F = 62.30, p < .001) and lower anxiety (F = 12.93, p < .001), upon transfer to the ward. Infant outcomes did not differ between the groups. CONCLUSIONS : This programme appears to facilitate collaboration between nurses and mothers and positively influences mothers' emotional and cognitive outcomes following infants' cardiac surgery.