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J Prof Nurs. 1992 Nov-Dec;8(6):335-41.

Differentiated practice: the evolution of professional nursing.

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Patient Services, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5039.


Differentiated practice identifies and uses three distinct nursing roles to create a comprehensive nursing care delivery system that meets client needs across the health care continuum. Clearly defined associate degree in nursing, bachelor's of science in nursing, and master's science in nursing competencies present career opportunities for professional nurses at the bedside providing, integrating, or managing client care as well as options in management, education, and regulation. An evolutionary paradigm shift required of all nurses is the awareness that each nurse is not the whole of nursing, but rather each nurse contributes to the whole of nursing. A nursing community comprised of differentiated roles that are mutually valued and well integrated will position nursing as a powerful force in meeting the diversity and complexity of health care needs in contemporary society.

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