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Translating Caring Theory Into Practice: The Carolina Care Model

Tonges, Mary PhD, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC; Ray, Joel USAF NC, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Journal of Nursing Administration: September 2011 - Volume 41 - Issue 9 - p 374-381
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31822a732c

This article describes how one organization operationalized Swanson Caring Theory and changed practice to ensure consistently high standards of performance. The Carolina Care Model developed at the University of North Carolina Hospitals is designed to actualize caring theory, support practices that promote patient satisfaction, and transform cultural norms. Evaluation suggests that this approach to care delivery enhances patients' and families' hospital experience and facilitates desired outcomes. The authors outline the Professional Practice Model, key characteristics of Carolina Care, links to caring theory, and development and implementation methodologies.

Author Affiliations: Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Associate Dean (Dr Tonges), University of North Carolina Health Care, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing; Director, Surgery Service (Mr Ray), University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Mr Ray, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 101 Manning Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.