Strengths-Based Nursing

From the McGill Model to Strengths-Based Nursing 

Patient-centred care has become something of a buzz term in medicine in the past decade. But what many in the field might not know is that a patient-centred care model was pioneered by McGill nurses back in the 1950s, known as the McGill Model of Nursing, which promoted the idea that nurses, patients and families are equal partners in providing support, information, and advocacy. Patients and families are treated with respect, and listened to as individuals with personalities, preferences and histories of their own. 

A generation of nurses trained under the McGill Model of Nursing went on to become leaders who trained the next generation of nurses. The model was adopted by hospitals across Canada, as well as internationally. Laurie Gottlieb, RN, PhD, FCAHS, Professor and Flora Madeline Shaw Chair of Nursing, then spearheaded the evolution of the McGill Model by developing Strengths-Based Nursing, a philosophy and value-driven approach to guide clinicians, leaders, and educators. Strengths-Based Nursing and Strengths-Based Care, referring to the strengths that nurses, patients and families are encouraged to recognize and foster in themselves and others to promote health and facilitate healing.


Strengths-Based Nursing and the Ingram School of Nursing Curriculum

In September 2017, the Ingram School of Nursing implemented a revised undergraduate curriculum using the Strengths-Based Nursing approach as the underlying philosophy. The next step is to inspire the clinical instructors and preceptors working with students in the clinical settings to use the Strengths-Based approach. In a joint venture with their clinical partners, the Ingram School of Nursing is now in the process of developing online modules for nurse preceptors on the Strengths-Based Nursing approach, and on how the values and principles underlying the approach can be used to guide the teaching of nursing students in the clinical settings.