Aim: The aim of this study was to explore adult-trained perioperative nurses' practice of family-centered care (FCC). Method: A qualitative research design with a hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with six adult-trained perioperative nurses. Data analysis was guided by Colaizzi's seven-step framework, resulting in a composite description of perioperative nurses' practice of FCC. Findings: While participants supported the principle of family involvement in care, they found its implementation in practice difficult and stressful. They reported that families often appeared inadequately prepared for the surgical experience, and subsequent poor experiences for families caused feelings of upset and inadequacy for nurses. Conclusion: While some of these findings are similar to those in previous studies of paediatric nurses' practice of FCC, this is the first known study to examine adult-trained perioperative nurses' practice of FCC. Participants articulated an awareness of what constitutes effective FCC and showed the motivation to accomplish the task of improving family-centered practice in their practice area.