Ask the expert: Define a professional model of care

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, June 30, 2009

This week, a reader asks what is a professional model of care. Read the response from Barbara Hannon, RN, MSN, CPHQ, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) coordinator at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Q: What is a professional model of care?

A: A professional model of care is the overriding statement and principle for how your hospital sees its model of nursing and its role in achieving positive patient and staff outcomes. The professional model of care and its principles are the same for all units across the institution. A well-defined and well-developed professional model of care should give nurses the responsibility and authority for providing direct care to patients.

There are many types of professional models of care to choose from (e.g., patient-focused, family-centered, chronic, recovery, or primary nursing) and these models provide for continuity of care throughout the organization. Some organizations may bring in a theorist to help create and implement their professional model of care, but if you do bring in a theorist, make sure all levels of nursing staff understand the theorist's concepts.

Regardless of the professional model of care chosen by an organization, it should:

  • Involve nursing staff input
  • Reflect the unique environment of the organization
  • Be integrated throughout the nursing department
  • Be a foundation for patient care
  • Be evidence-based and theoretical

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