UW Health Nursing: Professional Practice Model

Contact Information

(608) 263-6500 (phone)

(608) 263-5778 (fax)



UW Health Recruitment Center, 301 S. Westfield Road, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53717

The UW Health Nursing Professional Practice Model aligns nursing practice across all levels and settings by identifying relationships and responsibilities of the professional nurse. Patient- and family-centered care is the philosophical and theoretical basis of the model, with the relationship between the nurse and the patient/family/community at the center.
The domains surrounding patient/family/community describe the ideal environment for nursing practice at UW Health.
The three domains are:
  • Clinical Practice: This domain includes the clinical practice of all nurses throughout the organization, whether directly caring for patients or providing support for patient care. The UW Health nursing care delivery model, Primary Nursing, is encompassed within this domain. This domain addresses the quality of the relationships created with the patient and family and the essential nature of those relationships.

    It describes the skill, art and science of providing outstanding patient care. It focuses on the patient and family and information sharing with nurses and the health care team. The UW Health focus on quality, patient centeredness, cultural congruency, technical skill and relationships, whether in direct patient care or in support of that care, is reflected in this domain.

  • Professional Development: Every nurse at UW Health is a teacher, and the role speaks to a breadth of activities from orientation by a preceptor at the bedside, to the work done by advanced practice nurses in their clinical specialty. As UW Health nurses, it is necessary not only to learn but to take ownership in changing practice.

    This domain includes cultivating a spirit of inquiry and generating new knowledge to improve patient care outcomes. Nurses are encouraged to examine their practice and the practice of others and apply knowledge in order to improve care. They are empowered to make decisions at all levels and are accountable for the clinical outcomes achieved.

  • Leadership: This domain speaks to leadership throughout the organization by nurses at every level and in every setting. One of the underlying tenets of the model is that nurses in every position spend time in each domain. At UW Health, every nurse is a leader. They are influential and are involved in policy development. Working internally to create an environment where nurses can practice at their peak, or externally to create vibrant communities which can support patients at home, leaders communicate their vision and make it real. At the bedside, or in the boardroom, UW Health nurses model excellence.

In addition, this domain focuses on management of costs and the use of lean concepts in assessing, planning and improving practice. Providing for smooth workflow, utilizing resources wisely and minimizing waste are included as well. This descriptor speaks to nurses at all levels as they manage resources in a way which maximizes performance in the marketplace.


The three bridges that link the domains are:

  • Continuous Transfer of Knowledge: This bridge addresses communication between nurses and other disciplines across service lines and the continuum of care. UW Health expects that nurses throughout the organization will be involved in the gathering and sharing of data and problem-solving to improve care. The implementation of best practices is an expectation as outcomes are measured to monitor progress. Expert nurses model exemplary care and their input is sought in decision-making. An electronic health record linked between the hospital and ambulatory settings reduces redundancy and ensures that critical information is available whenever patients access services.

  • Innovation: As an academic medical center embedded in an environment which provides service, research and education, UW Health is a nationally recognized thought leader in areas such as transplant, integrative therapies and pain. The nurse residency program, a state-of-the-art simulation center, the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research and schools of medicine, pharmacy and nursing collaborate to provide patients with leading edge diagnostic, therapeutic and treatment options.

  • Seamless Transitions of Care: At UW Health, facilitating care across the continuum is a priority. Communication between patient, family and care providers is emphasized during inpatient and outpatient visits as multidisciplinary teams coordinate services to improve care and prevent re-admissions. Patient-centered education and care planning empower patients to participate fully in order to improve healing and reduce complications and length of stay.

Professional Practice Model


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