Nursing theories have attempted to shape the everyday practice of clinical nurses and patient care. However, many theories—because of their level of abstraction and distance from everyday caring activity—have failed to help nurses undertake the routine practical aspects of nursing care in a theoretically informed way.
The purpose of the paper is to present a point-of-care theoretical framework, called the fundamentals of care (FOC) framework, which explains, guides, and potentially predicts the quality of care nurses provide to patients, their carers, and family members.
The theoretical framework is presented: person-centered fundamental care (PCFC)—the outcome for the patient and the nurse and the goal of the FOC framework are achieved through the active management of the practice process, which involves the nurse and the patient working together to integrate three core dimensions: establishing the nurse–patient relationship, integrating the FOC into the patient’s care plan, and ensuring that the setting or context where care is transacted and coordinated is conducive to achieving PCFC outcomes. Each dimension has multiple elements and subelements, which require unique assessment for each nurse–patient encounter.
The FOC framework is presented along with two scenarios to demonstrate its usefulness. The dimensions, elements, and subelements are described, and next steps in the development are articulated.