Nurse-designed care models promote a culture of health

A new study examines the key drivers of success behind innovative nurse-designed care models.

Care models designed by nurses show success in advancing a national focus on sustaining a culture of health and well-being, but they face funding challenges, according to a new study.

The American Academy of Nursing, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in cooperation with the RAND Corporation, surveyed three care models to examine the keys to success behind innovative care models designed by nurses. The models in the study focused on pregnant women, low-income patients, and teachers, students and parents.

Nursing has long focused on patient- and family-centered care, pursuing a holistic view of individuals that incorporates aspects of their family, community and work environment,” said Bobbie Berkowitz, Ph.D., R.N., president of the American Academy of Nursing.

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She added that, given the unique position nurses play in developing a rapport with patients and guiding their interactions with the healthcare system, the Academy sees potential for transferring nurse-led efforts to other providers.

Here are some key findings and recommendations from the study:

  • While nurse-designed care models have been particularly successful in promoting stronger integration between health services and systems, more work will be necessary to identify and support all the elements that produce tangible improvements for all stakeholders.
  • The involvement of strong nurse leadership played a key role in the success of each of the models.
  • Including nurses in healthcare leadership wherever possible can help improve similar initiatives related to improving a culture of health. The report emphasizes nurses’ “leadership skills, holistic framework and philosophy centered on the patient (individual, family community), relationship-building skills and public trust.”
  • As providers develop programs related to a culture of health, they should promote interdisciplinary collaboration in order to translate the strengths of each discipline across the organization.
  • The models studied, like most current similar efforts, receive grant funding. The report notes that more sustainable sources of funding remain elusive.

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