Maria O'Rourke's Nursing Professional Practice Model


The Professional Practice Model is a schematic that describes how we, in our nursing role, practice, collaborate, communicate, and develop professionally. It is the foundation for the structure of professional nursing at OHSU and the integrated professional activities performed within that structure. It is creating and fostering a professional practice environment in which a culture exists that supports inquiry, self-reflection, professional development, and peer review in service to improving the unit and organization for all who are present.  

The Practitioner:

  • Transforms the practice culture through application of discipline-specific work in a manner that ensures regulatory and specialty standards are used in the provision of care and service in a therapeutic manner.  Review the American Nurses Association Standards of Practice.

Examples of nursing activities: improvement in nurse sensitive indicators, i.e., reducing patient falls, reducing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, reducing hospital-acquired infections, such as VAP, CLABSI, and CAUTI

The Scientist:

  • Engages in evidence-based clinical practice standards and performance; links professional role competency with clinical, service, and financial outcomes. Review the ANA Standards for Professional Practice related to Quality of Practice, Practice Evaluation, Education, and Research.

Examples of nursing activities: nurse-initiated research on accuracy of CBGs that demonstrated statistically significant differences, suggesting the need for more generous glucose targets to protect against processing errors; nurses' ability to locate and enact professional practice standards, such as those from AACN, ONS, AORN, AWHONN, ENA; uses information obtained from units-specific audits to transform clinical practice and the practice environment; participates in journal clubs. 

The Leader:

  • Exercises decision making authority that ensures role- and standards-based practice; champions quality improvement. Review the ANA Standards for Professional Practice related to Research Utilization, Ethics and Leadership. Review the ANA Code of Ethics.

Examples of nursing activities: obtains and maintains certification in a practice specialty; serves as preceptor and/or charge nurse; proactively engages and interacts with interdisciplinary team members.

The Transferor of Knowledge:

  • Acts in a manner that promotes dialogue, open communication and positive interdisciplinary working relationships. Review the ANA Standards for Collegiality and Collaboration.

Examples of nursing activities: ensure complete, timely, appropriate, and relevant documentation , and safe patient handoffs; initiate conversation with members of the interdisciplinary team about patients status.