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May 29, 1972

The Roles for Nurses

JAMA. 1972;220(9):1237-1238. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200090059012

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In examining the potential for extending the contribution of nursing in the delivery of health care, we were reminded that concepts such as health care should reflect patient needs rather than professional prerogatives, and that those who provide health care should work as a team whenever the needs of the patient and his family warrant. Concepts such as these, while honored in principle, are likely to be dishonored or disregarded in practice.

The health professions themselves are the parties to this failure, but the consumers of health services have the most at stake in efforts to correct it. The extent to which health professionals succeed in translating sound principles into responsible practice will profoundly affect the quality, effectiveness, and cost of health care. What is involved ultimately is a fundamental improvement in the health care delivery system, a goal the American people expect, the health professions espouse, and the President