Aim This literature review explored the extant literature to further our understanding of the experience of being a parent on dialysis. Methods Keywords used to search the literature were haemodialysis, hemodialysis, chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease, parent and experience. Databases searched included CINAHL, Medline, Wiley/Blackwell, EBSCOHost, Web of Science, Pubmed, and ProQuest. Years included were 1999 to 2009. Seventeen primary research articles (sixteen qualitative, one mixed methods) met the search criteria with only one on parents undergoing dialysis. Findings The experience of the parent on dialysis has rarely been explored in the literature. Related research has indicated important themes including: restricted lives; relationships; adjustment; consequences and future outlook. Conclusions More should be known about challenges that face parents who receive dialysis. This review established an urgent need for further research to determine the experiences and needs of this population to provide empirical, person-centred nursing care.