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Nursing Management

October 2012, Volume 43 Number 10 , p 8 - 11


  • Denise Bakker DNP, RN
  • Jean Mau MPA, BS, RN


Professional nursing practice is guided by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards of Practice.1 Although the ANA delineates professional expectations, a well-defined nursing model of care further distinguishes the unique roles and functions of the professional nurse. Developing a nursing model of care that incorporates relevant stakeholders is crucial to producing a model of care that best reflects professional nursing practice within an organization.In 2005, the nursing division of a 205-bed community hospital in Michigan employed an innovative approach to the development of a nursing model of care.2 This organization used a focus group methodology to describe the complex construct of nursing practice. According to the literature, focus groups have been widely used to examine people's knowledge and experiences of healthcare and are an effective method for exploring the attitudes and needs of an identified group.3-8 Focus group methodology is useful if the purpose of the study is to explore the views, feelings, and experiences of a homogenous group.8 In addition, focus groups allow for clarification of responses and deeper exploration of issues while promoting a feeling of being heard.9-11 Information gained during focus group sessions can be used to develop meaningful concepts surrounding perceptions, attitudes, and opinions of the participants.11Using this research as support, 22 focus groups were conducted to elicit direct care nurses' thoughts and beliefs about the foundations of their practice. These responses were the building blocks for the development of the hospital's professional nursing model of care-the Lighthouse model-which is summarized in the nursing imperative "to meet the unique needs of those we serve with the highest standards of nursing excellence." In addition, the model of care consists of six elements of belief: coordination of care, advocacy, quality, respect, individualized care, and patient teaching, all of which are integral

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