Nurse care coordinators: definitions and scope of practice

Contemp Nurse. Aug-Oct 2010;36(1-2):71-81. doi: 10.5172/conu.2010.36.1-2.071.


The Nurse Care Coordinator role has emerged in recent years as an important means of achieving significant outcomes for patient, their families, and the larger health system. These outcomes include increased patient satisfaction with service provision, an increase in patient access to services, and a decrease in the hospital length of stay and unplanned readmission. Despite the potential benefits, confusion around role definition and scope of practice are evident. This paper examines findings of a literature review of studies involving Nurse Care Coordinators and provides preliminary definitions of their role and practice. The primacy of the therapeutic relationship is upheld, together with the importance of facilitating continuity of care. It is proposed that these preliminary definitions require testing and refining to ensure the nursing profession is more effectively positioned to continue to enable positive outcomes for patients and health systems generally.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Nurses*