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Professional Practice Model

The Department of Nursing's professional practice model (PPM) was created for BWH nurses by BWH nurses. Showing how nurses practice, collaborate, communicate, lead and develop professionally, the model illustrates the alignment and integration of nursing practice with the mission, vision and values of BWH nursing. Our PPM is the culmination of years of inquiry and study into what excellent nursing care to BWH professional practice model patients and families looks like in the everyday practice of BWH nurses. Through narrative, BWH nurses known for providing excellent care described their practice. The common themes and characteristics that emerged from these narratives provided the foundation for our PPM.

Within a caring and inclusive environment that is centered on our patients, their families and the communities we serve, the PPM includes six components that describe our practice:

Professional Practice Model

1. Nurses as authentic leaders

At BWH, we believe every nurse is a leader. Every day, clinical nurses are presented with opportunities to provide leadership by influencing care and the human experience. This clinical leadership is authoritative in its clinical knowledge and wisdom, skillful in its comportment, and compelled by the conviction to act responsibly on behalf of patients and their families. We continue to better understand the supports and conditions needed for nurses to act courageously and to develop the skills to lead others on the patients’ behalf. Our committee structure provides forums at the departmental and local levels where nurses, managers and educators sit together to shape technologies, policies and procedures and share in decisions that impact patient care and their practice.

2. True collaboration

Evidence tells us that effective teamwork across all settings advances patient safety and satisfaction as well as team satisfaction. Honoring the principles of a caring, inclusive patient- and family-centered environment and guided by discipline-specific knowledge, true collaboration is built on intra- and inter-professional partnerships based on mutual respect, trust, shared vision and decision-making.

3. Meaningful recognition

Meaningful recognition includes both celebrating our differences while embracing our common ground. Recognition comes in the form of awards and recognition programs and equally as important, in the form of an acknowledgement of a job well done. The honor of receiving an award or recognition helps to identify the many role models and the gifts and talents they bring to our caring community.

4. Outcomes-focused measures

The dissemination of data to identify opportunities that enhance the patient experience, quality, safety and the affordability of care is part of what makes BWH a world-renowned hospital. The Department of Nursing has done exceptional work on nurse-sensitive clinical indicators that reflect the impact of nurses’ actions on patient outcomes. Our work on pressure ulcer prevention, reduction in patient falls and falls with injury have contributed positively to the patient experience. Core measure indicators that we monitor include patient satisfaction with nursing care, DVT, CAUTI, VAD and central line infection rates.

5. Relationship-based care

As our care delivery model, relationship-based care keeps us attuned to four key relationships: relationship with the patient, family and community, relationship with the self, relationship with our colleagues and peers, and relationship with our diverse communities and worlds that informs our practice. Read about our care delivery system.

6. Scholarship

As lifelong learners, our continued pursuit of advanced knowledge and academic advancement is in service to our patients and their families and communities. This ensures that our practice at the point of care is theory-infused and evidence-informed while always shaped by the patient’s particular situation and preferences. Our ongoing and developing academic partnerships create opportunities for our nurses while ensuring that we live up to our academic mission of preparing the next generation. Innovation, research and process improvement are included in our scholarly role as is disseminating our knowledge and experience locally, nationally and internationally through conferences, lectures, professional organizations and public policy debate to advance the care of patients across the globe.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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