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a system for the distribution of nursing care in which care of one patient is managed for the entire 24-hour day by one nurse who directs and coordinates nurses and other personnel; schedules all tests, procedures, and daily activities for that patient; and cares for that patient personally when on duty. In acute care the primary care nurse may be responsible for only one patient; in intermediate care the primary care nurse may be responsible for three or more patients. Nurse midwives and other nurse practitioners practice primary nursing. Some advantages are continuity of care for the patient; accountability of the nurse for that care; patient-centered care that is comprehensive, individualized, and coordinated; and the professional satisfaction of the nurse. Compare team nursing.
pri·mar·y nurs·ing(prī'mar-ē nŭrs'ing)
A method of providing nursing services to inpatients whereby one nurse plans the care of specific patients for a period of 24 hours. The primary nurse provides direct care to those patients when working and is responsible for directing and supervising their care in collaboration with other health care team members.
A nursing system in which all nursing care for a patient is managed by one nurse for a 24-hr period. Primary nursing includes scheduling of activities, tests, and procedures.
See also: nursing