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Visibility of nursing in policy documents related to healthcare priorities.

Journal article
Authors Siri Tønnessen
Karin Christiansen
Ingibjörg Hjaltadóttir
Helena Leino-Kilpi
P Anne Scott
Riitta Suhonen
Joakim Öhlén
Kristin Halvorsen
Published in Journal of Nursing Management
ISSN 1365-2834
Publication year 2020
Published at University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Keywords omvårdnad, hälso- och sjukvårdspolicy, etik, resursprioritering,
Subject categories Nursing


To explore the visibility of nursing in policy documents concerning healthcare priorities in the Nordic countries.Nurses at all levels in healthcare organizations set priorities on a daily basis. Such prioritization entails allocation of scarce public resources with implications for patients, nurses, and society. Although prioritizations in healthcare has been on the political agenda for many years, prioritization in nursing seems to be obscure in policy documents.Each author searched for relevant documents from their own country. Text analyses were conducted of the included documents concerning nursing visibility.All the Nordic countries have published documents articulating values and criteria relating to healthcare priorities. Nursing is seldom explicitly mentioned but rather is included and implicit in discussions of healthcare prioritization in general.There is a need to make priorities in nursing visible to prevent missed nursing care and ensure fair allocation of limited resources.To highlight nursing priorities, we suggest that the fundamental need for nursing care and what this implies for patient care in different organizational settings be clarified and that policymakers explicitly include this information in national policy documents.

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