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Primary Nursing Vs. Team Nursing

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Primary nursing and team nursing are the most commonly used nursing management styles in hospital settings. Each management style has advantages and disadvantages. Nurses, health care providers and patients are impacted by the characteristics of each system.


In primary nursing, one nurse provides patient care on an individual basis from the time a patient is admitted to the time of discharge. Home health care and hospice settings often use the primary nursing style to manage nursing practices. The patient-nurse relationship is an advantage in primary nursing, as patients are able to develop trust and become comfortable with the nurse’s performance while providing care.


Team nursing consists of a charge nurse leading nursing assistants and other personnel to provide care to a group of patients. Health care professionals work in a team to complete all assignments for each shift. As registered nurses, charge nurses are held accountable for unlicensed personnel.


The work load is shared in team nursing and individualized in primary nursing. A lack of communication can be detrimental in team nursing due to the shared work load. Patients are more likely to become uncomfortable with numerous team members providing care, as this can be distracting. Primary nursing is also costly but necessary in some instances.


Based in Las Vegas, Yashica Lacy has been writing business and health articles since 2008. Lacy holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in health-care management from American InterContinental University. She is pursuing a Master of Science in mental-health counseling from Capella University.

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