Primary and Team Nursing Care Models


There are several nursing care models in medical practice. The leaders of nursing teams must evaluate the best method to be implemented in their settings and educate their auxiliaries by the standards of the chosen option. Primary nursing is one of the oldest and the most reliable techniques as it was used in various conditions. Team nursing is another care model that is considered to be efficient in particular cases. The following paper is intended to cover both primary and team nursing care providing models, compare them, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

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Primary Nursing

The caregiving model of primary nursing is used and experienced by the medical personnel at Mercy Hospital Miami daily. The discussed method implies the provision of medical help and assistance by the same nurse during the entire healing process of one patient (Nadeau, Pinner, Murphy, & Belderson, 2016). Moreover, when a small group of patients has the same issue, one employee can be given a task to support these people until they become healthy. Such an approach lets the medical worker be aware of all the changes that happen to his or her patient(s). Therefore, it is easier for the nurse to identify and develop necessary healing strategies in certain cases to reduce the amount of time required to cure the client(s) in an original way (Nadeau et al., 2016). However, people must stay in a hospital setting to undergo their primary nursing intervention courses. It would be proper to mention that any primary nurse who takes care of the patients given to him or her is obliged to be responsible for this person’s physical or emotional state twenty-four hours a day (Rantanen, Pitkänen, Paimensalo-Karell, Elovainio, & Aalto, 2015). Even if the working shift is over, the nurse has to arrive at the hospital in case of some emergencies or unpredictable problems.

The model of primary nursing also implies the satisfaction of all the patient’s medical needs (excluding hobbies, favorite dishes, and so on). Moreover, a professional nurse that follows the discussed strategy must communicate with one’s colleagues as to the client’s state. According to Nadeau et al. (2016), other medical workers might give sound pieces of advice and recommend appropriate intervention methods to resolve particular problems or avoid unfortunate outcomes in the future. Nevertheless, there is one disadvantage of the described care model. In particular, it requires much financial support. Therefore, only the best hospitals experience this strategy.

Team Nursing

The model of team nursing was developed in the middle 1950s. This strategy is opposite to the one discussed in the previous part of the paper. In particular, nurses employed by the same institution must unite in one team to help a certain group or one patient. Such an approach is considered to be less effective regarding the factor of nurses’ unawareness (Deravin, Francis, Nielsen, & Anderson, 2017). However, it has significant advantages. For instance, each of the team members might be responsible for separate duties. To optimize their mutual work, medical workers can allocate the responsibilities among every participant equally. As a result, one person is obliged to provide medicaments to patients. Another colleague must make physical examinations, and so on.

All the work is controlled by a team leader who is supposed to analyze the entire process and make recommendations to one’s auxiliaries as to their performance and efficiency at work. If all the work is organized properly, there is no need to switch professional nurses between different patients, until the ones they heal at the moment become healthy (Isobel & Edwards, 2016). Unfortunately, the model of team nursing has one disadvantage as the quality of patient care services might not be the best when many doctors or nurses assist one client. Indeed, such a strategy is beneficial regarding the work organization. Nevertheless, the primary goal of every medical institution is to heal their patients properly and provide the best help possible. The team nursing approach is not recommended to be used in popular or expensive hospitals as people expect individual treatment.

Implementation of the Primary Nursing Model

As it is mentioned above, the model of primary nursing is aimed at the individual approach to every client, which means that a case of every patient is assessed separately by only one medical worker. Usually, nurses work with several people at the same time when implementing the discussed method to remain busy regularly as the treatment of one person does not require much time (Finkelman, 2016). Perhaps, the longest part of the healing process is diagnosing and evaluating people’s analyses to make accurate decisions about the medications required in particular cases. It would be proper to mention that every activity that is supposed to improve the physical state of a patient is performed by one nurse (Finkelman, 2016). This employee might be chosen by the client if he or she has experience of using a particular worker’s services. In turn, people may be recommended to be treated by certain nurses by their experience required to satisfy all the needs of these individuals.

Recommendation of a Nursing Care Model

There is another nursing model that is considered to be the best method of other discussed before, which is called progressive patient care. According to Finkelman (2016), this strategy might improve the quality of nursing care, safety, and staff satisfaction in Mercy Hospital Miami. The main idea of this methodology is to treat people by the degrees of their diseases or illnesses. The first practice that is performed by nurses that use the discussed technique is placing their patients in particular units that are supposed to hold only people with the same medical needs (Finkelman, 2016). Usually, these requirements are identified during the process of diagnostic evaluation and the development of a treatment plan. It is much easier for nurses to orient in the healing progress when they know the dislocation of a certain client. However, such a model requires the entire medical institution to be organized accordingly to people’s needs (Finkelman, 2016). For instance, all the equipment required to be used by individuals with a specific health problem must be installed in the department where these people undergo their healing processes. The following list will enumerate the categories of possible elements used in the progressive care model:

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  • Self-care units are usually used by patients who recover from some illnesses or the ones that are not examined yet.
  • Beds attached to out-patient departments are predominately used by patients who stay in the hospital for twenty-four or fewer hours.
  • Units of intensive care are allocated among clients who have major health issues.
  • Units of intermediate care are used by approximately sixty percent of all the hospital’s patients. Usually, such people do not require to be housed.


Several nursing care models are used in the majority of hospitals in the United States of America. The nursing care models discussed in the given paper are considered to be the most effective practices out of all other ones developed by scholars. As it is mentioned above, the method of primary nursing can be observed and experienced in regular medical institutions that pay extra attention to the services they provide to every patient. According to this strategy, medical personnel must develop separate treatment plans for every client, which makes the quality of the entire process higher.

Due to such an approach, nurses and doctors are more aware of their patients’ health conditions, which lets them make sound decisions as to the further healing process. In turn, the model of team nursing is the most common in American hospitals as it does not require an additional investment of time for the realization of the treatment plan. Once patients are given their beds, medical workers contribute to the healing process of every client by their professional duties and responsibilities. However, the best methodology that is intended to improve the quality of medical services at any hospital is called the progressive patient care model. As it is mentioned previously, all people are placed in certain departments that are designed to address their health needs appropriately. Usually, this model is used by developed and expensive institutions as it requires much financial support and professional nurses who have experience of working in such conditions.


Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurses: Core competencies for quality care (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Deravin, L., Francis, K., Nielsen, S., & Anderson, J. (2017). Nursing stress and satisfaction outcomes resulting from implementing a team nursing model of care in a rural setting. Journal of Hospital Administration, 6(1), 60-66. Web.

Isobel, S., & Edwards, C. (2016). Using trauma informed care as a nursing model of care in an acute inpatient mental health unit: A practice development process. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26(1), 88-94. Web.

Nadeau, K., Pinner, K., Murphy, K., & Belderson, K. M. (2016). Perceptions of a primary nursing care model in a pediatric hematology/oncology unit. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 34(1), 28-34. Web.

Rantanen, A., Pitkänen, A., Paimensalo-Karell, I., Elovainio, M., & Aalto, P. (2015). Two models of nursing practice: A comparative study of motivational characteristics, work satisfaction and stress. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(2), 261-270. Web.

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