Research regarding the triad of nurses, patients, and family members looking at the lived emergency department experiences and their perspective of each from the other is notably absent. In this study, M. van Manen's (1990) hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to explore, understand, and describe the lived experiences of nurses, patients, and family members during critical illness in the emergency department. Data were collected over a 6-month period by means of in-depth interviews. While nurses perceived that addressing the patient's physiological deficit promptly is paramount in the emergency department, they also indicated that including family members as coparticipants in the care is equally important. Patients and family members perceived that communication, critical thinking, sensitivity, and caring are necessary for emergency department nurses. The study supports recognizing the patient and family as active participants in the patient's medical care, encouraging family member presence, and creating institutional policies for patient- and family-centered care.