Team Nursing Care Delivery Model: Pros and Cons

Model: Team Nursing

The selection of an appropriate model of nursing care coordination is interrelated with the management of such diverse organizational issues as cost-efficiency, customer satisfaction, the achievement of positive treatment outcomes, and the provision of high-quality services to all patients. When an efficient model is implemented, internal communication among nursing staff members can be significantly improved. Consequently, it may lead to the development of multiple benefits, both organizational and individual.

The major traditional nursing care models are functional nursing, total patient care, primary care nursing, and team nursing. The principles of team nursing were developed in the 1950s as a response to functional nursing. The given care delivery model is grounded in the idea of increased collaboration within the groups of nurses with different levels of education, proficiency, and registration status. It is observed that the focus on nurses’ cooperation and shared responsibilities may help to increase job satisfaction, and enhance team cohesion (Fairbrother, Chiarella, & Braithwaite, 2015). Thus, the implementation of team nursing as a care delivery model may lead to the enhancement of communication patterns, group thinking, decision making, and correlation of nurses’ autonomy and collaboration.

It is worth noticing that the success in the implementation of any model depends on multiple internal organizational factors such as staff availability, overall organizational environment, and culture, as well as the identified hospital objectives. It is possible to say that along with economic considerations, the management needs to take into account the ability to align a chosen model with corporate values and professional beliefs, as well as the level of nurses’ knowledge and competence.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Team Nursing

As all care delivery models, team nursing has some weaknesses and strengths. According to Hastings, Suter, Bloom, and Sharma (2016), “that lack of communication and collaboration between healthcare providers can seriously harm patients, reduce patient satisfaction, and lead to duplication and inefficiencies” (p. 245). Therefore, the major advantage of team nursing is the ability to reduce those risks as its primary goal is to foster communication among nurses. Secondly, the model is associated with a significant amount of professional support because, in team nursing, staff members can delegate tasks and collaborate to complete work. It is implied that each nurse within a team can be involved in decision making regarding patients and practice issues. In this way, it is possible to reduce the number of medical errors. Thirdly, since every nurse performs a plethora of tasks every day in team nursing, she/he has a chance to develop skills, acquire new knowledge through practice, and teach others contributing to better organizational performance.

As for disadvantages related to the given care delivery model, it may entail an increase in the RN leaders’ responsibilities who need both to take care of patients and supervise team members. However, this issue can be resolved through the encouragement of nurses to be more autonomous and stimulation of their self-education and professional growth. Additionally, the implementation of team nursing may be challenging and time-consuming because it requires formulation and communication of team culture values to all employees, clarification of responsibilities, development of new staffing patterns if required, and so on (Hastings et al., 2016). Lastly, since team nursing is associated with lesser independence in turns of professional functions and implies shared accountability, it may lead to reduced personal accountability and individual efficacy. Therefore, the development of appropriate regulations and culture is essential to success in the implementation of the given care delivery model.


Fairbrother, G., Chiarella, M., & Braithwaite, J. (2015). Models of care choices in today’s nursing workplace: Where does team nursing sit? Australian Health Review, 39(5), 489.

Hastings, S. E., Suter, E., Bloom, J., & Sharma, K. (2016). Introduction of a team-based care model in a general medical unit. BMC Health Services Research, 16, 245.