As care needs continue to increase in complexity in inpatient settings, and nurses' scope of practice evolves to keep pace with these changing demands, it is imperative that nurse leaders ensure nursing care delivery models are well aligned to current realities. Older, traditional models of nursing service may no longer foster safe, effective and efficient care or contribute to job satisfaction and high-quality work life for nurses. This paper describes the Autonomous-Collaborative Care Model and its application in a continuing care setting. This innovative and flexible model fosters autonomy and accountability in nursing practice, reduces duplication in the execution of nursing tasks, enhances effective communication and outlines mechanisms for collaboration among various members of the nursing and interprofessional teams. The model has positioned the authors' organization to meet impending shortages of nursing personnel by ensuring that the right category of nurse is assigned to the appropriate patient, by reducing non-nursing work and by supporting nurses' autonomy to practise to their full scope.
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