This article is focused on the primary finding of the 2010 Institute of Medicine report asserting that nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training. An evolving theoretical perspective for hospital nursing practice is proposed as a basis for reaching this goal. This article describes the background and current factors influencing professional hospital nursing practice, presents a theoretical model for future research designed to optimize the power of hospital nursing practice, using a newly evolved concept of “nurse force,” and discusses the implications of nurse force theory on perspectives of hospital nurse fatigue and patient harm.
Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo (Drs Drake and Luna); Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of San Diego, San Diego (Dr Georges), California; and University of Missouri, Columbia (Dr Barker Steege).
Correspondence: Diane Ash Drake, PhD, RN, Mission Hospital, 27700 Medical Center Rd, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.