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Primary Care vs. Team Nursing Models

The model of nursing care

In the observed setting, nurses were working according to the primary mode of nursing care. Each of the nurses was assigned several patients for whom these professionals were responsible throughout their stay in the hospital. Nurses tended to their patients, including minor procedures such as bathing and transportation. During other shifts, associate nurses were selected to replace the primary nurse who continued to overview the care. Nurses had a full picture of the patient’s health, treating them based on their knowledge and experience, and consulting other professionals if necessary. Overall, the primary care model was identified because one nurse was assigned to each patient to take responsibility for the treatment.

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The article by Nadeau, Pinner, Murphy, and Belderson (2017) demonstrates the effectiveness of the primary nursing care model in a pediatric oncology and hematology unit. The authors argue that this approach is necessary for relationship-based care in which the connection between the patient and the nurse plays a significant role in one’s treatment. Nadeau et al. (2017) find that both patients and nurses were highly satisfied with the chosen model of care, noting the continuity of care that was present in the department. Thus, the fundamental aspects of primary care were important to patients and their families who valued relationships. This research focuses on the positive opinions of parents, young patients, and nurses and does not show the workload or financial implications of using the primary model of care.

Another traditional model of care is team nursing – a completely different approach to treatment. Fairbrother, Chiarella, and Braithwaite (2015) discuss the implementation of this approach, comparing it to other strategies. The scholars find that, currently, the number of patients is increasing, substantially complicating the workload of nurses and their objectives that they have to complete during each workday (Fairbrother et al., 2015). As a result, team nursing – a framework based on forming nursing teams with a vast array of skills – provides these specialists with increased time and collective knowledge to treat patients effectively. Team nursing, therefore, can offer the best possible solution for nurses with continuously increasing pressures and patient numbers.

The implementation of the different nursing care model

Although team and primary nursing models are among the first approaches to care, they have developed differently throughout the years. Team nursing possesses many benefits in the current state of the health care industry. According to Swartz (2017), this model is both familiar to nurses and innovative in guiding effective interprofessional communication, goal setting, and shared decision-making.

It could be implemented to decrease the pressure on one practitioner and delegate tasks according to knowledge and experience. Moreover, Deravin, Francis, Nielsen, and Anderson (2017) conclude that team nursing increases job satisfaction and reduces stress among nurses, leading to positive patient outcomes. To adopt this model, the unit should diversify its skill mix, train staff, and foster a supportive environment.


Such models of care as primary and team nursing were discussed. In primary nursing, one nurse is appointed to several patients to be fully responsible for their treatment. It may include both medical procedures and other tasks, such as hygiene and transportation. While the primary model helps foster strong patient-nurse ties, it is challenging and financially draining. The team model, in contrast, assigns a number of nurses to patients, allowing for task delegation and collaboration. It may make the relationship between nurses and patients less strong, but it is characterized by a manageable workload, knowledge exchange, and high job satisfaction rates.


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.

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Fairbrother, G., Chiarella, M., & Braithwaite, J. (2015). Models of care choices in today’s nursing workplace: Where does team nursing sit? Australian Health Review, 39(5), 489-493.

Nadeau, K., Pinner, K., Murphy, K., & Belderson, K. M. (2017). Perceptions of a primary nursing care model in a pediatric hematology/oncology unit. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 34(1), 28-34.

Swartz, M. K. (2017). Lessons from team nursing. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 31(6), 623-624.

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