Primary nursing is our patient care delivery system. A nurse establishes a responsibility relationship with a patient and family, and partners with them to develop an individualized plan of care. The primary nurse coordinates the care with other providers and transitions the relationship along with the plan of care to the next care setting. Care is based on scope of practice and professional standards from the American Nurses Association, as well as specialty organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society. Care includes independent nursing actions as well as delegated and interdependent actions.

Knowledge-based care drives interventions. Research findings and professional standards inform decision-making. Critical thinking and innovation determine behavior.