Partnership Care Nursing: A review of two Peer-reviewed Journals on Care Nursing

Partnership Care Nursing: A review of two Peer-reviewed Journals on Care Nursing


The concept of teamwork in health and social care has a vast literature. For instance, a policy developed by the Department of Health in 2007 mainly focused on eradicating inequalities in health service provision through partnership working between primary care providers and other social care agencies. Today’s healthcare service status demands teamwork, which is particularly true for nurses who have to deal with multiple of factors during their professional service provision. On the same breadth is the increased call for more patients’ involvement in their health, including on the right to make decision and seek legal support on the basis of their health. In other words, every patient receiving healthcare services, including nursing service is entitled to be actively involved in their own care. The philosophy behind partnership working in nursing is based on several concepts and principles: empowerment, autonomy & rights, power-sharing, information sharing, respect, making informed choices, and paternalism. The aim of this paper is to analyse ideas from two different articles by different authors on the topic of nursing, particularly on the partnership working in nursing.


Article I: Patient participation in nursing care: towards a concept clarification from a nurse perspective

In their study, “Patient participation in nursing care: towards a concept clarification from a nurse perspective” Sahlsten et al. (2007) explored the evolution of patient participation, a concept that has not only gained significant transformation overtime, but also brought with it more challenges on definitions and dimensions of patient participation. The authors used focus group interviews to collect data, conducting open interviews on the selected seven groups. While the data gathering took five months to accomplish, the researchers were able to uncover the respondent’s perspectives in depth. While the focus group interviews may have mainly focused on the meaning and implementation of patient participation in line with the study’s aim, the results can clearly reveal what nurses value most in terms of patient participation. Respondents rated equal partners’ participation, co-operation, and shared responsibility as the most significant factors in relational nursing (Sahlsten et al., 2007, pp. 635-636).

While the aim of the study was to explore “the meaning of patient participation in the nursing care from a nurse perspective” (Sahlsten et al., 2007, p.632), the review of other authors’ works reveals a plethora of issues in the nursing care and partnership working. The nurse-patient relationship is considered successful when both parties view each other as partners, with the nurse required to use professionalism, knowledge and positive ideas in the implementation of nursing care plan. Patient, on the other hand, is expected to have the intellectual ability to understand and make the right choices with regard to their own nursing care. The authors, however, faults the incongruence relationship between studies conducted in relation to patient participation on one side and definitions, elements and processes in literature and practice on the other side. Although there are a lot of empirical literature on nursing theories and patient participation, the authors claim that no empirically grounded theory has ever been established, calling for significant insight into more studies related to the concept of patient participation in their own nursing care. The authors claim that the traditional approach where patients were mere recipient of nursing care has changed, and subsequently replaced by the more active patients who are directly involved in their own care. More importantly, patients’ participation simply means the opportunity for them to participate in their own care, with regular adjustment as the situation may demand.

Article II: The relational core of nursing practice as partnership

Jonsdottir, Litchfield and Pharris (2004), while exploring “the relational core of nursing practice as partnership”, focused their analysis on the evolving relational core of nursing care in the backdrop of increased technology use and outcome-oriented approaches. The three authors, unlike their previously outlined counterparts, only focused on critical review of the available literature, espousing the role of evolving dialogue between nurse and patient in terms of partnership nursing and care. While technology is considered in the positive side in terms of medical breakthroughs, experts and general observers alike have associated it with distraction in health care services that need personalised attention including nursing (Jonsdottir, Litchfield and Pharris, 2004, p.241). In retrospect, the authors claim that the distracted modern nurse sees patient as a problem rather than partner to be attended to, consequently obscuring the humanness of nursing experience.

To emphasise on the need to correct the deteriorating relational nursing concept in the perspective of partnership, Jonsdottir, Litchfield and Pharris (2004) outline and analyse various research studies that backs the need for nurses to be real partners through presence, care, and attentiveness in every stage of care nursing. The authors categorically state that the patients need medical treatment as priority, but emphasis should also be given to proven holistic approaches to care nursing, which studies have revealed to be equally significant in the overall healthcare. The focus on holistic care nursing should thus be based on dialogue between nurses and patients, for example, where the former should be in a position to explain to the latter why a certain procedure or activity is necessary in the process of care nursing.


While the two set of authors had different approaches to their respective work, both articles exemplifies harmony in terms of the need for partnership care nursing. One may, however, notice that the former article largely referred to partnership in the perspective of increased patient participation in own care nursing. The latter article mainly focused on partnership as a dialogue between nurse and patient. It is prudent to state that the former authors’ focus on patient elevation is largely due to historical background of healthcare service provision that pushed patients to the periphery of their own health. Nonetheless, the difference in semantics and approach notwithstanding, the two sets of authors agree that both patients and nurses need to collaborate, and view each other as partners rather than either one party feeling superior to one another. After all, it is common knowledge in the health care cycle that post-modern health and social care services requires more than the post-war’s “one-size-fits-all” approach that dominated the universal health care service provision more than fifty decades ago.


Jonsdottir, H., Litchfield, M. and Pharris, M.D. 2004. The relational core of nursing practice as

partnership. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47(3), 241-250.

Sahlsten M.J., Larson I.E., Sjostrom B., Lindencrona, C.S. and Ploskae. 2007. Patients

participation in nursing care: towards a concept clarification from a nurse perspective. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16, 630-637.