In 2019 and 2020, the Department of Nursing embarked on a journey to evaluate our professional practice model (PPM) to determine whether it accurately represents nursing practice at the Brigham.

More than 30 focus groups, inclusive of 500 nurses, reviewed the model and discussed the defining elements of nursing practice at the Brigham.

The most prominent theme that emerged during focus group discussions was the importance of relationships with our patients, their families and each other. Other themes included:

  • Continual pursuit of excellence
  • Passion for providing the best care to patients and loved ones
  • Forming trusting relationships built on empathy and compassion
  • Strong leadership and collaboration

These themes were incorporated into a newly designed graphic that supports the everyday practice of nurses at the Brigham.


The new model is a compass. It signifies nurses’ role as advocates who help patients and families navigate their health care experience.

Relationship-based care is the heart of our practice. The relationships among patient, family, nurse and team are vital to the delivery of relationship-based care.

The four points of the compass — collaboration, compassion, knowledge and excellence — are essential to our ability to deliver the best care.

Compassion is our “true north” and a defining quality of Brigham nursing practice. These components also connect to our Brigham values, which are reflected in the outer circle.

This video, narrated by Brigham nurses, tells the story of our PPM.