Moving the agenda forward: A person-centred framework in long-term care

Katherine S. McGilton, Hazel Heath, Charlene H. Chu, Anne Marie Boström, Christine Mueller, Veronique M. Boscart, Barbara McKenzie-Green, Rola Moghabghab, Barbara Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Internationally, the role of the registered nurse (RN) in long-term care (LTC) settings has evolved in response to the demands of governmental and organisational priorities. In stark contrast to the regulatory mandates, a person-centred care approach in LTC settings would require different outcomes, processes and competencies of the RN. Aims: This article explores the implications of defining the RN's role in delivering person-centred care in LTC homes. Methods: Based on a review of the literature, we present a framework that can be used to gather evidence on the outcomes, processes of care and competencies required of RNs to lead their teams to person-centred LTC homes. Results: The development of the framework highlighted several issues: (i) current measures of quality in LTC settings focus on health outcomes and avoiding adverse events rather than on resident quality of life and well-being, which influences the RN's practice; (ii) person-centred care has emerged as a focus of care, yet measures currently developed are limited, and thus, new outcomes are proposed; (iii) to practice in a person-centred way, RNs must work through others on their team to ensure that staff truly relate to their residents, tailor approaches based on the remaining abilities of the residents and manipulate environments to match the competence of the individual, while focusing on residents' personhood and (iv) competencies of RNs to deliver person-centred care include leadership, facilitation, clinical excellence and critical thinking skills. Conclusions: RNs need to be supported, allowed and encouraged in redesigning their role, to work to their full capacity if they are truly to support person-centred care in LTC settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Older People Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Long-term care
  • Person-centred care
  • RN role in LTC
  • Registered nurses


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