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Relatedness Matters

Crary, Pamela PhD, RN, AHN-BC

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000177

Today, nurses are confronted with much more in their day-to-day activities than 40 years ago. Not only are nurses caring for more patients during their shifts, patients are acute and complex and have shorter hospital stays. The nurse-patient relationship has been a focus of nursing since the profession began. Nurses today engage with vulnerable individuals in intimate and highly technical environments. Not only do nurses care for people using highly technical skills, but also nurses educate and support individuals toward healing by listening, and encouraging people toward improved health. The relationship between nurse and patient remains relevant today and important for patient outcomes. This publication introduces a theoretical approach that exemplifies the importance of relatedness in maintaining the nurse-patient relationship.

Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin and Henry Predolin School of Nursing, Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin.

Correspondence: Pamela Crary, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, B6072, 2500 Overlook Terrace, Madison, WI 53705 (

The author thanks Diane Lauver, PhD, RN, Professor of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Nursing, whose passion for nurse-patient relationships and well-being helped cultivate these ideas.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved