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Keywords:

  • named nursing;
  • primary nursing;
  • job satisfaction;
  • skill mix;
  • cost effectiveness;
  • quality of care;
  • advocacy;
  • accountability

Named nursing: in whose best interest?¶ This paper explores certain influences and issues surrounding the implementation and application of the named nurse concept. The author critically examines the proposals that primary nursing increases job satisfaction, cost effectiveness and quality of care, and suggests that as primary nursing appears to be the template for named nursing, these are factors which may have influenced the former British government's decision to implement the concept of named nursing. Owing to problems regarding the reliability and validity of much of the research, the author draws the conclusion that the direct extrapolation from one concept (such as primary nursing) to another (such as named nursing) is perhaps open to question. The author also analyses other issues related to the implementation and use of the named nurse concept including advocacy and accountability, and proposes that the introduction of individualized care, and in particular named nursing, perhaps serves the drive towards the professionalization of nursing first, and the patient second, and if so questions whether there is a need to reconsider the aim of nursing.